Bridget Ilene Delaney (kagomeshuko) wrote in speedwood_fans,
Bridget Ilene Delaney

March 1999 newsletter


MARCH 1999

So, there's this award show called the Dove Awards. It is the high-point of the annual Gospel Music Association's week in Nashvegas, Tennessee. The Dove Awards are to Christian music what the Oscars are to acting, what the Grammy's are to music, what the Plumby's might be to the National Pipefitters Union. In effect, the Dove Awards are the opportunity for Christian music's fans and players to celebrate a "unique" musical contribution. One wonders, then, at the ironic twist of the following . . .

In years past, the Dove Awards were held the same week as the Country Music Awards. Over time, it became apparent that folks didn't want to watch two awards shows in one week and the Dove organizers decided to move their extravaganza to a different time slot so as not to compete with themselves in the CMA week. Apparently, this year's safest bet for getting maximum viewers was March 24th: the final Wednesday evening before Holy Week. It seems the Dove Awards would lose more viewers to the Country Music Awards than they would to Wednesday evening Lenten services. As some folks are fond of saying, 'Nuff said.

But if you know me, you know I can't let it lie there. I went to the GMA/Dove Awards website and checked out when the show will air in various "markets." Turns out, though the show debuted the 24th, folks in other "markets" will be treated to different opportunities. For example, people in Detroit and Scranton can use the Dove Awards as part of their Good Friday observance, while those in numerous other towns can opt for a Holy Saturday viewing (something to do while awaiting the rolling of the stone). Most interesting of all, however, is the dilemma facing Gospel Music Association fans in Los Angeles, Buffalo, and Hartford who will have to choose between Easter morning worship in the local parish, or watching John Tesch and the Newsboys on their living-room sets. Some might consider this a tough call. And now I mean it, 'Nuff said.

The month of March for your favorite non-GMA member band (that'd be us) continued where we left off last month. As you'll recall, we were headed north out of Florida in the midst of a fun tour. As I describe our journeys, I'll provide a little info as to when each town's hosts might catch the GMA/Dove Awards show on their local stations.

To begin our March, we played Hoover, AL (where the Dove Awards will air on Palm Sunday). Then we ambled up to Norcross, GA (Dove Awards on April 3), followed by Macon, Georgia (Doves on 4/7). In Goldsboro, NC (Doves: Easter Day), we noticed that the floor in the narthex was this beautiful black and white marble. Michael commented that the pattern made the room look expansive; the locals responded that it surely wasn't cheap. From there we headed even further north into Virginia and on over to the Atlantic coast.
That's expansive!

Michael sets in
Virginia Beach (Doves: 4/10 on a Norfolk station) is the host city for one of Youth Encounter's larger events and we were privileged to play a set or two. Michael even worked on his drum chops with the hope that some day he might "set in" as my fellow country band members used to say.

While hanging around the beach, we listened to the strains of our friends Second Story.
Second Story smiles on cue

St. James' youth

We also had the true pleasure of meeting the youth group of St. James Lutheran Church, St. James, NY (Doves on Palm Sunday). The astute reader will recall that the youth director at St. James is none other than our old pal (Stage Boy himself) Justin Vetrano (see August 1998 Newsletter)!

After leaving Va Beach, Michael flew home and I drove and drove. The next week we were scheduled to play Fort Wayne, IN (Dove Awards: 3/25). Since it's only a couple of hours from my house, I casually drove over there that afternoon, only to find that Michael's plane had been delayed, canceled, and various other indignities. (There's a verb-tense problem in that sentence, but I must move on.) As the hosts and I raced around setting things up for the 7:00 pm concert, Michael sat around O'Hare Airport (Doves air on Palm Sunday) and hoped for a hop on a flight. I was truly in a panic when getting prepared. You see, I normally only deal with the sound equipment; Michael handles the merchandise and displays. I had to have a constant reminder to try to do what Michael would do. With my handy reminder, things went much better. Michael did eventually make it, and the show must went on! (There's another verb-tense thingy there, but Cincinnati beckons.)

Desk Job Natural!
When we left Fort Wayne, we drove on to Cincinnati, OH (Dove Awards TBA!), for our final Youth Encounter event of the season. We were pleased to work with our friend, Rev. Steve Brown of Maumee, OH (Doves on 3/28 AND 4/3!). While at that event we met a fellow who uses his hair to hold business cards. He offered to show us his display techniques. We had a great time over the weekend and on Sunday raced north to play Toledo, OH (Dove Awards: see Maumee above).

Our old pal Chad (of lifeguard fame) turned out a lovely crowd and we had a delightful evening. However, when I was packing up I noticed the paraments on the pulpit. Either somebody set the drier too hot or I was experiencing a Spinal Tap moment. Anyway, as I say, we had a blast, and returned to our homes to gear up for the month's biggest adventure.

"So, what exactly is a 'dogsled'?"
On the third weekend of March, we bundled up in our warmest bundlings and flew to the largest state in the union: Alaska! We arrived in Anchorage (Dove Awards: 3/24), and I tried to adjust to the time zone difference. The next day, we stopped by the church in Anchorage where the locals were gathering the Anchorage contingent for the gathering further north. Michael took a few moments to chat with the Alaskans. Following that, we began our journey north. That's right, Anchorage is just the jumping off point for your adventuresome friends!

Along the way, Michael decided to do a series of commercial clips to show-off the warmth and durability of his new jacket. Well, "new" in the sense that he newly borrowed it from his brother. I've taken the liberty of posting a few of his photos for you . . .

"I'm standing here at water's edge!"

"I'm standing here on the moon's surface!"

"I'm walking as fast as possible away from that dust storm!"

"I'm standing where Alaskans know better than to stand!"

When we arrived at the camp, we immediately saw that the Alaskans are made of a heartier stock than we Lesser Forty-Eighters. Here's a fine photo of them just strolling over to their cabins.
We, of course, drove our car.

Poor neighbors
On the first morning, some folks came running in right before we started playing the morning's sing-alongs. "Your cabin's on fire," they said. "Go and get your stuff out of there." So, with visions of being forever branded as the Arson Band, we raced across the snow to our cabin. Michael threw open the door. We packed all our belongings into our bags and dragged them out into the snow toward the meeting space. We arrived out of breath to a small correction regarding the emergency. Turns out it was the cabin NEXT DOOR to ours that was burning.

After the fire fiasco, we tried to convince our hosts to let us stay in a more Alaskan-looking structure across the way, but that hut was reserved for storage.
Authentic Arctic Abode!

A winter wonderland!
Knowing our belongings were safe, we spent the afternoon playing broomball against the Alaskans. Our team was called the Lesser Forty-Eighters, and we scored more goals than the Alaskans. Of course, our team's secret weapon was the guy we called Skater Dude: he was the only one playing who thought to bring skates, which make it a lot easier to move on the icy lake. Interestingly to us, the residents of Alaska have no hesitation about removing their jackets when playing broomball. I guess when your winter low is 60 below zero, a little freezing wind on the skin is no big deal.

After the Gold Rush, we returned to our homes, where we spent some time reminiscing about Alaska and waiting for the final event of the month: a return trip to the Fort Wayne area of Indiana. The town is called Bunker Hill (as in, shot heard around the Midwest) and as best I can tell, they have no local Dove Awards broadcast. Michael took some time out to relax.
I'm a casual man

Heathrow rocks!
I was going to say "while listening to the mellow sounds of the opening band," but that would not be true. The first band was a really fun and energetic Christian punk band called "Heathrow," and they were anything but mellow. Three things to note about this band: 1) They had a most original sound. 2) We found them quite entertaining. 3) They're really worth seeing if they're in your town.

And that ends our March. Look, Ma, no Doves! If you'd like to see the concert photos from this month's March, click on Photo Phrenzy.

Later (as we used to say when we were younger),


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