Hey everyone. I think most of you know I’m on a super tight deadline of June 15 to get my new book done, so I’m cranking as fast as I can while doing the research and editing with my colleague Greg to make it sound right and flow correctly. With that in mind, I’m going to dive right back into that and just post what is a great blog installment from my friend Elon Werner.
See you again soon!
And remember to click on that “Like” button at the bottom!
Finally an “off” weekend
Since the beginning of May, I have been all over the place every weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it was all good stuff but I didn’t feel like I had any chance to catch my breath for almost a month. We went to Missouri for daughter Abby’s honor society induction the first weekend, and the next weekend I flew to Washington DC to pick up son Nicholas from George Washington University and then we drove back to Dallas. I had back to back NHRA national events in Charlotte and Houston to close out the month. I was very much looking forward to four days in a row of just doing things around the house and with my wife Jennifer.
On Thursday I took a couple hours to repair our backyard gate that had been off the hinges for almost three weeks. We added a French drain on our side yard and I needed to shorten the gate so it would clear the new hard surface. I had limited tools but neighbor Craig came over and we got it all squared away. It was a team effort and felt good to do a project that required a skill saw.
Leading into the weekend I got the chance on Friday to head up to the Addison Improv, the second oldest Improv club in the U.S. behind Los Angeles. My long-time friend Chris Voth was performing with Ron White. I have known Chris for over 20 years going back to when I was the PR guy for the Texas Motorplex full-time and Chris was an NHRA advance media PR rep. Back then NHRA would send a media rep into each market 10 days before the event to generate media attention. We got along great and have stayed in touch ever since. Chris has always pursued a career in comedy and has made a pretty good living on the road, but like so any comics he has a full-time job as well. Chris also teaches high school English, has a doctorate in education and is the girl’s high school basketball coach. The teacher schedule allowed him to go on the road in the summer,
I have seen Chris perform in Greeley, Colorado in a very shaky basement club and also I saw him once in San Francisco. Every time I saw him perform I came away with a new appreciation for his sense of humor and his great comedic timing.
The show on Friday night in Addison (north Dallas) was packed and Chris and Ron killed. It was really cool to be backstage while Ron was on and listen as Chris reacted or gave me a heads up on a big punch line that was coming up. It was like being in the coach’s booth or sitting with a top level analyst. After the show I walked back to the hotel Chris and Ron were staying in and hearing them breakdown their sets was incredible. They reviewed things I had no idea about when it came to performing live. It was almost a 10-minute “Master’s Class” on stand-up comedy.
On Saturday morning I had arranged for Chris and Ron to play golf at The Tribute Golf Course in The Colony. It is a very cool course that copied some of the most famous link course holes from St. Andrews, Muirfield or Royal Troon. The course was designed by well-known golf architect Tripp Davis and is a links-style course that highlighted the challenge of playing holes from the Open Championship, also known as the British Open. I was able to snap a picture with them before they went out on the course.
On Saturday night I had a date with my wife and two other couples from our neighborhood. One of the local restaurants in Mansfield also has a stage for small concerts. That night they featured Def Leggend, a Def Leppard tribute band that I had heard good things about. The gig started at 9 p.m. and their opening band, a Dio/Black Sabbath cover band, played a little long but the wait was worth it.
The first concert I saw with my then girlfriend, now wife, was Def Leppard at Reunion Arena in Dallas in the early 1990s. I was the Dallas Mavericks intern and I got to know the security guys that ran all the events. One of them mentioned if I wanted to stay for any concerts to just let him know and he would set me up. I took him up on the offer and invited Jenn to the concert. I met her outside of the arena and she asked me where our seats were. I told her I wasn’t sure and we went inside to see Mario at the blue security desk. Mario said to just go in and sit anywhere we found an open seat and if someone showed up with a ticket to just come back and see him. That was exactly what we did. We had to move around a few times but every time we went and saw Mario he would take us to a new area of the arena, closer to the stage and set us up. Jennifer didn’t seem to mind the weirdness of hopping around from one seat to the next and I knew right then I had found the girl for me. By the end of the night we were just about right up front and the concert was amazing.
This past Saturday were had a reserved table and didn’t have to move a single time. Oh how almost 30 years changed things. Def Leggend played all their hits and when we walked out all six of us were singing our favorites from the concert. It was back-to-back late nights for me so I felt like I was back in college.
I managed to sleep in a little on Sunday and then I had the most normal day since the pandemic. We had two other couples over to play Mexican Train dominoes at our house. Prior to the pandemic we were big time game players and would have people over all the time or go places and play for hours. We pretty much shut all that down for over a year. If you aren’t familiar with Mexican Train it is similar to Chicken Foot. If you aren’t familiar with either of those domino games then hit up Google. We had a blast on Sunday afternoon. Everyone was vaccinated so we sat around our dining room table and enjoyed some great snacks and trash talk. I was the big winner.
After everyone left we headed to the airport to pick up daughter Abby who was flying back from St. Louis where she had just returned from a two week road trip visiting eight national parks with her boyfriend Adam. They had an amazing time and I was very jealous they were able to put over 5,000 miles on their rental car, see the Grand Canyon and not have to join one single Zoom call.
Monday we had plans to enjoy some time at a neighbors pool but Mother Nature had other ideas as a huge rain storm moved in and washed away any plans for outdoor activities. We did take some time to think about and reflect on some of our family and friends who had served or had loved ones who served. We talked about how we are to be able recognize the sacrifices that made Memorial Day possible.
This week was also high school graduation so our across the street neighbors the Webbs’ youngest daughter Sydney graduated and was heading off to Texas A&M, her parents’ alma mater. There was a great neighborhood celebration on Tuesday and for once the weather cooperated. It was great to see everyone again. We have more rain in Texas the past month than any of us could remember. No one has really been enjoying their pools, which is also very unusual. Talk turned to summer plans and also more neighborhood festivities. There will be a lull in high school activities after five straight years of seniors on our street. It was a Tuesday evening event so it wrapped up around eight at night. There was still a cooler full of beer left over the decision was made to reconvene every day at around 5 p.m. until the cooler was empty.
I am looking forward to another “off” weekend coming up and this one is setting up to be very relaxing. Looking forward to filling weekends like this reading Bob’s new book which I hear is careening to the finish line as I type.