A Double Order of Bacon, With a PodCast On The Side

Aug 22, 2019   //   by bwilber   //   Bob's Blog  //  Add a Comment

I like bacon. No, let me rephrase that. I love bacon. I like it crispy, and I like it by itself or as part of a greater whole. Bacon belongs on cheeseburgers. Bacon belongs on salads with ranch dressing. Bacon absolutely makes a BLT, because otherwise it’s just an LT. Club sandwich without bacon? No thanks. Bacon on an omelet? Of course. Bacon with scrambled eggs. You betcha. Just a pile of bacon, heaped on my plate, when passing by the chafing dish in line at the hotel breakfast buffet? Don’t judge.

Last night, Barbara and I had a double serving, but this time it was Bacon, with a capital B. We enjoyed an evening with Michael Bacon, his “little brother” Kevin, and the fantastically talented band that helps make up The Bacon Brothers. It was awesome. And there, in that packed room at The Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis, I completed the assignment of finally having just one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon. If you don’t know what that reference is about, just Google “Six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.” That was a thing for people to do a decade or so, ago.

This will probably be a short one today. Barbara and I are entering a period of crazy travel over the next couple of months, and I don’t know if we’re done booking flights. She leaves for Orlando this afternoon, and I’ll follow her down tomorrow. We have a big old time scheduled for Saturday, as the twins Bella and Stassi celebrate their third birthdays with an all-out Disney party. I’m going to be in costume. It arrived a few days ago. It includes giant cartoon hands (with only three fingers each) and comically large shoes. And a one-piece zip up suit to wear. There are large round ears at the top. Yes, this is all true. There may or may not be photos, but it’s also a fleece suit so the Orlando weather is not going to exactly be conducive. I’ve convinced the authorities that I will put the costume on in private, stroll through the crazy party, where I will either delight or scare the little kids, and then peel it back off as soon as I’m soaked with sweat. They agreed.

Next week, before it’s even blog time, we’ll head to Chicago for a couple of days. We have tickets to see “Hamilton” while we’re there, and I’m really looking forward to that. Barbara and I headed up to Brainerd for a day this past weekend (more on that later) and she played most of the soundtrack for me on the car stereo. Amazing stuff.

OK, I need to be interviewed for a PodCast right now. This could take a while, as I’ve never been accused of being afraid of the sound of my own voice. Chat amongst yourselves, or just listen to the theme music…

(90 minutes later)

Whew! I do like to talk. I think I wore poor Ryan Acra out. Ryan is a go-getter who is making a mark for himself in all sorts of social media and publishing ways. Somehow, when researching something else, he came upon some of my prior work via the Google machine. The more he looked into my background, the more he wanted to interview me. It seems he specializes in sports, writing, author stuff, books, ideas, and other things. I’m kind of right up his alley.

We just had a wonderful 90 minute conversation. He’s extremely sharp, and asks some of the smartest questions I’ve ever had posed to me. It’s not often that someone asks me a very real and serious question and after thinking about it for a few seconds, all I can say is “I don’t believe anyone has ever asked me that before.”

We covered a ton of ground, mostly based around “Bats, Balls, & Burnouts” and it was great fun. He’ll need some time to edit the raw interview and then get it posted, so once he does that and he sends me a link, I’ll let all of you know where you can go to listen. Really glad I did that. Plus, he’s going to be a great asset going forward in terms of publishing my new book “How Far?” He recently started his own publishing business and thinks I might be a great fit for his portfolio. This is what we call “networking” and it’s a marvelous thing. I’ll keep you posted on the PodCast as it goes from raw interview to edited show and then appears on the interwebs.

So back to enjoying bacon and Bacon.

Hey, that’s Kevin Bacon! A really great show, and great songs! (Click on any image to enlarge)

As briefly mentioned above, last night Barbara and I ventured back over to the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis to see The Bacon Brothers. I had no idea what to expect. I knew Kevin Bacon was a serious musician but I didn’t know his style or what kind of band he had. As we got comfortable in our seats and began to chat with others, it was obvious the first question was “Did you come for the movie star, or for the music?”  Barbara admitted she came for the movie star. I came for both.

From start to finish, it was a great show. Nothing too heavy, but everything was so eclectic I think they checked off about a dozen different styles of music. From folk to country, from rock to rockabilly, from ballads to covers. It was all very well played and great to listen to. I think my two favorites songs were both originals by those wacky Bacon Brothers, one was called “Tom Petty T-Shirt” and the other was “Don’t Lose Me Boy.” Both worth finding on YouTube.

All in all, a great show and a ton of fun. It was the single biggest and earliest arriving crowd I’ve ever seen at The Dakota, and everyone was fired up for it. What actually surprised me, although I’m not sure why, was the fact they finished the encore by playing and singing “Footloose.” For some reason, I just figured Kevin wouldn’t want to cross those beams. He’s a huge movie star who is a very serious musician and he’s touring constantly in pursuit of that love. I guess I assumed he’d want to keep those jobs separate, but I’ll admit it was a great way to finish the show. Well played, boys!

So much fun!

Last Saturday, we drove up to Brainerd early in the morning and had a fun day at the track. It was so great to see so many great friends and former colleagues, and I can’t express my thanks sincerely enough to let you know how much I appreciated what NHRA, Team Wilkerson, and Del Worsham did to make our trip as pleasant as possible. When you spend enough time away from the sport, you can’t help but wonder if anyone even notices you’re not there. I’m not big on handouts and I’m absolutely not big on expecting people to wait on me or provide me anything. It was wonderful, and it made a huge impression on both of us. We were very grateful for the help, the love, and the fun.

Once qualifying was about over, we headed to the car and made our way out of BIR, then through Baxter, left through Brainerd, over to Mille Lacs, and then down to Grand Casino near the south end of the big lake. We had a nice room with a view, if by “a view” you mean if you knelt down on the chair in the corner and looked hard to your left you could actually see a bit of  the parking lot, but that didn’t bother us. We were there for dinner and some gambling fun.

Bottom line, we think we won about $300 or maybe $400 on slots. We brought a certain amount of cash with us, but both of us had some other money in our wallets so it wasn’t all that easy to remember just how much we put into the machines. I know I hit a pretty big one on a dollar machine, and Barbara did too. All I’m sure of is we came home with way more than we left with, and by getting those VIP cards you stick in the machines, we got about half off our dinner and about $20 in free slot credits. I usually don’t bother with those things at the big Vegas casinos, and have a far greater history of leaving my card in a machine and walking away than of getting any benefit from the program, but this time it all paid off. It was a fun night, and we slept like bricks.

Not a bad drive getting home, and when you come down Route 169 from Mille Lacs you’re only about 50 miles from the western side of the Twin Cities. It all went pretty smoothly, despite the experts in their big pick-ups, hauling their boats home, driving like it’s the 24-hours of Le Mans. I’m a careful driver, but it’s stressful to be surrounded by entitled idiots who think anyone doing 10 mph over the limit should just get out of their way, even if such a thing is impossible with the other idiots jamming both lanes. Exactly how close can you get your big truck to my back bumper, Slick? And where exactly do you expect me to go? Sheesh.

So, I thought this one would be short and it has been. The 90-minute PodCast in the middle of it wore me out a little, but I think we covered some good ground. Like I said, as soon as there’s a link to share for the PodCast, I’ll post it here and on social media. Could be a few weeks…

As always, if you just read this and didn’t think it was awful, I’d appreciate any clicking you can do on the “Like” button at the top. I might get enough “Likes” to buy some more bacon!

See you next week, I think. We’ll be in Chicago during the middle of the week so I may have to push the blog back to Friday. We’ll see…

Bob Wilber, at your service and still loving bacon. And Bacon.

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