I <3 God, sheepie

LAF!

All of you know that my favorite band, by far, is
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All of you know that my favorite band, by far, is <a href="http://www.speedwood.com target="new">Lost And Found</a>.

Now, I don't know if they'd be my favorite band if somebody just said, "Hey, listen to this!"

My first experience of Lost And Found was in a huge group setting when they were getting the entire crowd to yell "Slinky!" and singing about people in orange shirts and this guy named George have to drink lots of water.

Being that I saw them in 2000, and have gone to many of their concerts and been eary to quite a few of them, I have gotten to see some of the silliness and be in on a lot of the in-jokes that happen. I'm sure those things are the things that continue to keep them my favorite band.

I recommend trying to go to one of their concerts (they're cheap - I've never paid more than $10 to actually attend the concert) if they are near your city. I will drive, but I don't recommend that you drive, out of the way to go see them.

From their <a href="http://speedwood.com/concerts/tourdates.php?region=ALL" target="new">concerts near you site</a>, it looks like they will be in teh floowing cities in this upcoming month:

Estes Park, CO
Loveland, CO
Littleton, CO
Lincoln, NE
Norfolk, NE
Grand Island, NE
Albany, NY
Flower Mound, TX

Also, they were the warm up band on the third day of the past ELCA youth gathering. You can experience just a bit of magic that happens with this band by watching "1." in the video on this page:

http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Ministry/Youth-Ministry/Youth-Gathering/Day-3.aspx
The Jump

George's Blog

Just a quick update here. Sorry I've not had time to transfer any newsletters or Lost And Found news to this journal.

However, I did want to let you know, if you're not signed up for e-mails from Lost And Found, that George no longer writes a newsletter, but he does keep a blog!

Also, congratulation to Michael and Lalanya on their marriage back in April! You can read about that in George's post called the best wedding ever.

Hopefully, at times, I'll be able to update this some more!

Stein Auf!
everybody needs a song - LAF

Help with most annoying songs . . .

We all love Lost And Found, which probably means we all like pretty good music. Sorry that I've been absent from this community, but life is more important (even if most of what you do is on the internet). Still, you can help me!

You can help me by filling out this simple poll! All I'm asking is that you list your top five most annoying songs! This is just what you find most annoying personally.

Head over to this poll and give your answers. Your name will not be revealed.

Later, I will make a poll for voting on the songs and will keep making polls until I get a top number (whatever I decide depending on how many songs get listed).

If you don't have a whole five and only have one or two songs, still feel free to enter them in the poll! A whole five aren't required.

I'll let you know when the next poll is available!

First, though, I need songs!
I &lt;3 God, sheepie

May 1999 Newsletter

 

MAY 1999

So, I'm flying over the Canadian Rockies, eh? And I'm writing this newsletter, right on? My watch says 9:05 am, we're on our second flight of the day, and we were only able to sleep for 3 hours last night, eh?


Using the information in the previous Canadian story, please answer this question.

What is the metric equivalent for our state of tiredness right now
a) off the scale (i.e. immeasurable)
b) depends upon whether you factor in the G.S.T.
c) it's all good, eh?
d) Canadian Air

That's right, all of the above.

And now, may the May newsletter continue. We began the month by ending last month. By that I mean we played an event that started at the end of April in the town of Appleton, Wisconsin. Our friend Bob Lenz was there as well, and since the event was just down the road from his house, Bob was all aglow.


That's about 30,000 metric
We got to see the town where Bob, his wife Carol, and their 5 children live. As you can see, without Bob's family, Little Chute would have an even 9,200 residents. Anyway, we had a great time at the Evangelical Free "Districts" and had to leave right away to catch planes to Houston, where we began an unusual week with Bob.

Bob's basic mantra is "Two Schools and a Rally." This means, when he travels, Bob Lenz will speak at two public schools during the day and invite the students back for a more explicitly Christ-centered event in the evening. Hence, his oft-heard cry: Two Schools and a Rally. So, Bob invited us to join him for several Two Schools and a Rally's in Texas, and off we went.

When we first got to Houston, we played minutes later in Tomball. The Texans welcomed us in grand style by decorating our hotel rooms and leaving local delicacies in them. The next morning was our first Two Schools and a Rally. Not surprisingly, that day we played two schools and a rally. The rest of the tour broke with the pattern.
Hey, Texas


Prom courting?
For example, the second day we played one school and one concert. At the Lutheran school there in Tomball they have a special row in the front that is apparently reserved for couples only.

The next day was a variation on Bob's mantra; we skipped two schools, played one, then a huge rally. The next morning was different as well. That day we skipped one school, were cancelled out of two and played an alternate, followed by a rally. The alternate was by far the most unusual thing we've seen in years. It was called the Harper Alternative School. I suppose what it is an "alternative" to is something like respect, common courtesy, or manners. No one paid any attention to Bob or us. They had us play in a cafeteria during their Cinco De Mayo (that's May 24 in metric) celebration. Bob finally brought a stepladder to the middle of the room to try to get their attention. The only person who noticed was the janitor who yelled at Bob to put the ladder away when he was done.


Keeping in mind the nearest exit may be behind you.


And put that ladder away!



A poem


And put that ladder away!

Later in the day we played at an historic Lutheran Church in downtown Houston. Afterward we drove on to Austin (as in 3:16) where we slept a little and setup for a school the next morning. Somehow a speaker got unplugged and I didn't notice. This caused our power amp to clip, and we could not play, since I didn't know the cause. It was the worst morning since I slept through a school performance in Seattle in 1987. I was a broken man. In order to purge my guilt and shame, I wrote a poem about my feelings. I also found a little bit of abstract art that summed up just how I felt about my experience that day.

That evening we played two concerts at Concordia College in Austin. The sound equipment worked much better since I decided to plug in all the speakers. Bob was so excited he did a little dance. After that we drove to Waco where we slept a little and setup for a school the next morning. Our Waco experience was good. We went to lunch and even got a little office work done. That evening we played in Waco for . . . how to say it? . . . I know, a crowd of 300 in metric. It was an intimate evening and--ironically, since the sound was working perfectly--we decided to turn off the equipment and do an acoustic unplugged set.


Bob busts a move


Harper school uniform?



It's amazing what you can get at Toys R Us!
After we packed up, Michael, Bob, and I drove back to Houston so that we could catch flights in the morning. This concluded our attempt at Bob's famous Two Schools and a Rally. It proved a very interesting week and we had a great time hanging out with Bob and some friends. Then we had some time off. Cris and I baptized our daughter Lillian on May 9th. The next weekend, Michael and I flew to (The) Metroplex. While there, we bought Joel The Newest Member of the LOST AND FOUND Team a new computer. Well, "computer" isn't necessarily the right word. We got him one of those Macintosh toy things that sometimes can do what computers do. It wasn't exactly easy to fit this thing into the backseat of Joel The Newest Member of the LOST AND FOUND Team's car, but he was determined to have something to play with in the down times while at the office.

From there, we went back to northern Wisconsin to play in the town of Rhinelander. (You know, where they make all the wrappers for SnickersTM bars, which p.s. are made in Waco.) Anyway, the nice people of Rhinelander had us in to play a concert, a couple of worship services, and a baccalaureate service.

Before the first concert, this being Packer country and all, the concert goers setup a little tailgate party with brats. Another group was grilling chicken in the parking lot, and they presented Michael and me with a little safety gear for airplane travel.


Now them are brats!


Safety first!



"blick-em blick-em"
After the concert, Michael took a little time to work on his chops and prepare for the day when he sets in with a band.

We found out that at the Rhinelander High School they have some very specific rules about living life to the fullest. I think this is sort of like "Three important reminders to a better life." My favorite is the third rule, which just plain makes sense.
And put that ladder away!


Now THEY rocked on!
After the morning's two worship services, we spent the afternoon missing baskets on the court and sleeping at the church. Then we went to play a most unusual event called a baccalaureate service. Michael looked up the word "baccalaureate" and it seems to mean something like a message to the graduates. I always thought it was a party that some women throw for their friends the night before they get married. Anyway, we had a great time and heard a most amazing rendition of "Ave Maria" by these two guys. Then we drove back to (The) Metroplex and flew home in the morning.

A short three days later we flew to the true north, strong and free. In no way do I mean to suggest that Michael and I were strong or free, just the country to which we flew. Thursday night was spent in Vancouver just preparing for the Canadian experience. Friday morning found us travelling with Darcy and his wife Leanne. That evening we arrived in Kamloops where we played a short set for the early arrivers. The next morning had us entertaining the early risers at a brunch. ("Brunch" is the Canadian term for a meal that is a combo of lunch and breakfast. In the States, of course, we call this meal "Lunkfast.") After we ruined the appetite of the brunchers, we prepared for our mainstage appearance at the British Columbia District Youth Gathering of the Pentecostal Church of Canada. We had a great time and did not hear the cry "Yankees go home!" so we can only assume that they didn't hate us.


Oh Canada!

That night, our new friends Corey and Dawn (the Estonians) drove us to Kelona, the town from which all the major flights depart. By the time we awoke, we had slept a grand total of three hours-which takes you back to my opening paragraph.

And now, for some real magic: this is the point at which the newsletter laps itself and I begin writing about stuff that had not yet happened when I began this missive. Since the opening quiz, the following things happened . . .

We landed in Winnipeg, where our new friend Jerry met us. We knew he was truly our friend since our first stop was Starbucks. He took us to the university so we could prepare for the Manitoba District Youth Gathering of the Pentecostal Church of Canada. (You're probably thinking to yourself "A theme runs through it," right? I mean, "eh?") Quickly upon arriving we played a concert, followed by a twenty minute set for the whole group. After that blaze-in-blaze-out, we proved once more that Northwest Airlines rocks on compared to certain airlines based in Chicago, and said superior airline delivered your heroes home early enough (36 hours for some of us) to rock on in a relaxing style prior to travelling auf deutschland.

If you'd like to see some photos of the people we met along the way, go ahead and click on the Photo Phrenzy. If you're still waiting to see the bio on Joel The Newest Member of the LOST AND FOUND Team, you'll have to wait for next month. Also, the Hansonfan Cookoff results ought to be available in June.

And now is the time for all good LOST AND FOUND members to go to Germany. Until we return to America in June, velin danke' und auf weidersehn! . . . great spelling, eh?

"überbaum"

I &lt;3 God, sheepie

April 1999 newsletter

 

APRIL 1999

So, April lasted . . . oh, what's that word? . . . oh yes, FOREVER. My goodness. It was fun, and snowy, and hot, and sunny, and cold, and concert-filled. While experiencing the month was great, writing about it will take a little time. So after you've raked the lawn, and painted the fence, and washed the car, and watched all your favorite TV programs, come on back and read what we did this month . . .

This month's missive has three basic subplots. First, I'd like to draw your attention to a few signs we encountered along the journey. Second, I'd like to announce the winners of the Hansonfan Cookoff. Third, I'd like to introduce you to Joel, the newest addition to the LOST AND FOUND team. (Editor's note: Since I have temporarily misplaced the Hansonfan Cookoff entries, and since I forgot to gather all the necessary data on Joel, these last two subplots will be rather ethereal in nature--implied but not seen, shaken but not stirred, sensed but not dollared. Look for them next month when they're aged and ready for consumption.)

Let's start at the start. April 9th we began in Marquette, Michigan at the FireUP event. Great fun, but really cold outside. On the sound board backstage we saw our first sign. It was a friendly tip to help folks help each other.


Friendly Sign

Michael the Timer
Also, in order to keep things moving along, the organizers sent Michael across in front of the stage to let presenters know when they had four minutes left.

On the 11th, we played in Manawa, Wisconsin. The organizers asked us to conduct a little door prize giveaway. When Michael saw the balloon-encrusted backdrop they had so kindly constructed, he had an idea. Amidst the midway setting, we set up a little dart-throwing contest to better distribute the prizes. Since we told folks they could shoot at any balloon, this woman chose the one two feet in front of her. If you'd like to see all the rest of the contestants and they're dart-throwing prowess, click on CONTEST. After we packed up the sideshow, we drove through the night to get to (The) Metroplex.


First Prize!

"You said any balloon!"

With Pete at the wheel, Michael and I arranged the late-night concert. We knew we'd have to do it up big if we were to stay awake all the way to (The) Metroplex. So, opening the concert was the first of two disks from the KISS Alive 2 album. This was followed by the evening's show stopper: Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits Volume 2. The master was in rare form and elicited squeals of delight from the van-filled crowd. It was an un-safety-belted-room-only crowd, with attendees overflowing into the cargo area of the van. Third up was a second set by KISS, playing songs from KISS Alive 2, disk two. (The studio cuts on the second half bored the crowd a bit.) But then, excitement built once more for the final act of the night, David Wilcox's newest release, Underneath. David's new songs guided the van safely into (The) Metroplex for an evening's rest.


Fat And Happy
Monday evening found LOST AND FOUND playing in the historic "Hall of Portraits of People You'd Recognize if You Were Smarter than LOST AND FOUND." This room is on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. We had a most excellent time, and our friends Fat And Happy opened the show with some really great songs. Terrific songwriters, and beautiful voices. We highly recommend them for your next gig in (The) Metroplex area, or elsewhere. You can reach them at 612/782-0829.

The next day was a busy one. We began by racing to the studio of our old pal Jim Ryberg. Turns out, our song was one of several selected to be used at the ELCA youth gathering in the summer of 2,000 (I mean, in SY2K). So, we had to hurry and record it to make the deadline of May 1st. After a flurry of recording, we drove over to Concordia Academy to play a few numbers, and inquire as to the origin of their pride in bacon. (Turns out the sign said "Beacon Pride.") That evening, we played a concert in Woodbury, which is part of (The) Metroplex. Among the folks attending that night was our friend Mike Lemkuhl, of Electric Pulp Design, the ones who bring you this fine website. Turns out (i.e. get THIS), when Mike was in college, the choir of which he was part sang backup vocals for the great one himself: Barry Manilow. It was a brush with greatness just to stand and wind cords with Mike! The next morning we drove west.
Michael impersonates Frank Sinatra


WOW!

Wednesday evening found us in Grand Forks, ND, playing for the largest group of confirmands ever assembled. Quite amazing, that. The next morning we were privileged to play at Oak Grove High School in Fargo, ND. After that we bought some batteries for Michael's guitar pedals. I felt pretty good about our brand choice since this brand claimed that its batteries would last 3 years! I figured, hey, that would save me worrying about batteries well into Y2K+2.

Then, alas, we read the fine print.
Fine print.






Sevenfold
Anyway, after the school we had a little time to kill so we took naps at the host church in Fargo. Before we lay down in the choir room for a little shut-eye, my attention was caught by a most peculiar sign. I kept having dreams of armies of pins marching through the church to the song I Don't Wanna Be a Pinhead No More by the Ramones. I must say, I experienced some troubled sleep at best. That evening, we played in Fargo and had a great time. Afterwards, we drove on drove on (in majesty) to Blair, Nebraska. I said Blair. Yes, B-L-A-I-R. It's in Nebraska. We got there a little early. It was snowing. We tried to load our equipment into the fieldhouse to set up. The women's softball coach was angry about that. So, we watched her hit some balls until her anger subsided. When cooler heads prevailed, we hauled in our stuff and set up on a huge stage in a huge room. The band Sevenfold played some songs before we got started. They were really good and we hope to see them next time we're through the area.

That night we drove to Omaha, NE. The next day we zipped up to Schuyler, NE to play at Camp Luther. The kind hosts built a stage that afternoon, and a great time was had by all. Among those present were our long-time friends, the Fitz Family. If ever you want to see some world-class juggling, rivaling the skills of Mike Hout, who has a letter from the vice president on his wall, go see the Fitz Family. (As an aside, be sure to check out the upcoming Christmas Tour, which will feature the Fitz Family, LOST AND FOUND, and Justin Vetrano. Sure to be a great night for the whole family . . . I mean your family, not just the Fitzes.) Where was I? Oh yes, from there we went to Des Moines (as in "one of these days, Alice, POW ZOOM right to Des Moines!"), Iowa. Technically, the town was Jefferson, but it's close to Des Moines.
Fitz Family


Our biggest fan!


Ambiance!
Before the concert we met Henry, a 16 year old who started his own business and raises prize-winning show cows. Not to be outdone, Nate (a fellow show-cow raiser) brought down an actual Hereford named Mickey! All 800 pounds of her. Michael, whom you'll recall has never caught a fish, milked a cow, or lived in a house, mustered up all his courage and patted the furry beast right on top of her head. He was visibly shaken, but seemed a bigger man for having done it. After the concert, our new friend Louise and her pal left a candle burning by our van. I must admit that it was kind of creepy when I first saw it. Since then, however, we've made it the ambient part of the concert to light the candle before we launch into slow songs. You know, set the mood, like KISS or Barry Manilow might. Then it was off to the south.

In Kansas City, our friend Nate (the graphic designer) decided that he'd just go ahead and make a sign of his own. Nate and many other folks joined us in christening a new building at the host church. First concert ever in the room. Following that, we headed east over to St. Louis. The opening band in the Holy City was called "The Rock," and that's exactly what they did. After we played, we were treated to a special version of our song Baby, by these two fellows. They were really quite hysterical if you ask me, which you didn't.
Sign of the times

Nobody calls me.


Let's just say she doesn't know about prom.

Matchers
From there we drove to Evansville, where the hosts went to super-human lengths to assemble a stage, including removing pews and stuff. They turned it into a great room to play. After the soundcheck, we had pizza with the group they called "Tweenagers," (those would be the folks between grade school and high school). We learned about proms, and we met some wrestling fans. In the front row, we couldn't help but notice the 6 people straight out of a J. Crew ad. A regular palette of color they were. The next morning we went to Indianapolis and picked up Joel, the newest member of the LOST AND FOUND team. From there we headed to the final event of the month.

The Icthus Festival is held every year in (or around) Wilmore, KY. This was our second year back and we had the greatest time once more. They allowed us to lead four "teaching tent" seminars. One of our old friends whom we call Blue Dave made it to a few of our sessions. In a particularly introspective moment, I captured Blue Dave feeling Blue. The rain at Icthus let up on the second day, but then the temperature dropped dramatically, which can be seen in the progression of crowd photos on the next page. When we shopped in a local store, Joel (the newest member of the LOST AND FOUND team) found a most interesting sign. Anyway, I then returned home. Michael flew to Los Angeles and switched homes. As I write, he is busily moving 7 years worth of stuff to a new place. And p.s. (i.e. get THIS), Michael D. Bridges as of the first of May may live in the first house of his entire life! (Editor's note: aside from a brief stint living in a church parish house while working in the inner city of Buffalo, it is in fact true that Michael has never lived in a house. However, I wrote "first of May may live in the first" just to give the sentence a little bit of added pizzazz.)
Dave really IS blue!


Stunning!

And that concludes April for us fools. If you attended any of the soirés, you can check out the crowd photos in the Photo Phrenzy. Next month, I promise to have the biography of Joel "The Newest Member of the LOST AND FOUND Team" Pakan, as well as the winners of the Hansonfan Cookoff. Also, I'm making a conscious effort to refrain from social commentary for a month or two. Things have got too weird and I don't feel qualified to comment.

Tune in next month!

george

I &lt;3 God, sheepie

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.
Stonehenge?


"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),

george

I &lt;3 God, sheepie

February 1999 Pete's letter from the Philippenes

FEBRUARY 1999 Pete's Letter from the Philippines

I'm not certain I've ever been more nervous in all my life. I mean, I've never been one to worry too much about what other people think of me...but this was different. I wanted this girl to like me, and I wasn't sure she'd even know who I was. Come to think of it, I didn't really know who she was. Oh sure, I've be sponsoring Gemmalyn (pronounced jem-a-leen) for almost two years, but the prospect of meeting her made me strangely aware that I didn't know anything about her. So, as I rode the elevator down to the lobby of our hotel in Manila, Philippines last month, my heart was experiencing a whole gamut of feelings...

I suppose if you're reading this page you are at least vaguely familiar with Compassion International - perhaps you heard Michael talk of it at a LOST AND FOUND concert recently. If you do not sponsor a child already, I challenge you to read this with an open heart and consider doing so. If you are a sponsor, then I have a challenge for you as well...read on.

Last month I spent four short, but very intense days in Manila, Philippines experiencing what Compassion International truly does. Although I cannot write about all of my experiences, I want to share with you two things that struck me most while I was there. Throughout my visits at Compassion International projects and the children whose lives are affected by them, I was overwhelmed, first and foremost, by how far my $24 a month goes. For most of us, it is easy to send off $24 and hope that we're doing something good; but until I visited the Compassion projects for myself, I had no idea how exponentially far the money goes to lift these children out of their condition. We visited one-room homes no larger than the office cubicle I sit in now that housed families of 4, 5, 6 or more. These children are provided with food, clothing, medicine, and an education - an absolute impossibility without the sponsor's 24 dollars. Poverty, I learned, is not only the lack of money, but also the lack of opportunity. Compassion projects give these beautiful children the opportunity to break free of the bondage of poverty. All of those things, great as they are, cannot hold a candle to the most important thing a sponsorship provides...hope. I experienced many emotions while there, but depression was not one of them. Hope crowded out hopelessness. Hope not only in a better life here on earth, but more importantly hope in a new life with Christ Jesus in paradise. These people have a peace in their hearts that surpasses all human understanding, the peace that only the knowledge of the everlasting love of God can provide. Of all the things Compassion does, exposing people to the Word of God is far and away the most important - and you can (or already do) enable them to continue doing so.

The second thing I learned prompts my challenge to those of you who already sponsor a child. Writing to your child is almost more important than the money you send. Now, obviously you would have no reason to write if not for the sponsorship, but I was shocked at how important letters and pictures are to these children. We had dinner one night with young adults studying in graduate programs who were sponsored children while growing up. They explained to me the connection made with sponsors from letters inspired them in school and in their faith. Letters, they told me, were the most important thing for their emotional development. It is difficult for us to understand, but the truth is that letters, even short ones, mean more to them than we can know. The Compassion Philippines office staff told us that only about 15% of the nations 12,000+ sponsored children receive letters. This low percentage must change, and so I implore you to write the children you sponsor to let them know you care for them. Encourage them in their studies and in their faith. You may never know the impact your letters may have, but I promise you it will be huge.

...I came out of the elevator with my heart pounding. Standing there in front of me was a beautiful little angel who asked if she could call me "Uncle." Gemmalyn is 10 years old and small for her age, but what she lacked in size she made up for in zest for life. She wore a white dress with her curly jet black hair pulled back in green barrettes. We went to the zoo, and played on a playground. We ate at McDonald's®, and chased after bubbles. Finally, after 5 short but wonderful hours, she and I had a connection that was undeniable. Fighting back the tears we said our good-byes, and she kissed me on the cheek. In the weeks that have followed I have tried to reconcile the 2 very different worlds that exist in this one world - mine and hers. I'm left with the conviction that unless I uproot and move over there to help, I can only continue to support Compassion International in what they do.

I pray that you would consider sponsoring a child also. The Philippines currently has upwards of 2,000 unsponsored children, and they are planning on adding projects that will create an even greater need. Visit Compassion's website or email me at pete@speedwood.com if you want more information.


Until then I say: people of the Philippines...we are with you!

Under the Mercy,

Pete
LOST AND FOUND

I &lt;3 God, sheepie

February 1999 newsletter

 

FEBRUARY 1999

So there's this Christian Music Magazine that we sometimes buy for entertainment. As a tribute to their particular style of formatting, this newsletter will attempt homage with name-dropping boldness . . .

We ended last month in New Jersey, which is the home state of Bruce Springsteen. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were spent with our new friends in Glassboro. Friday night we played for their college group, noticing that some of the attendees looked like the cast of Friends.
Friends!


Where's that Buzz?
They have one seriously huge church with the best sound system we've ever heard. However, there was a heavily armed deer who was looking for a fellow named Buzz, which is the same name as a character in the movie Toy Story, whose voice is provided by Tim Allen, former co-star of Pamela Anderson Lee, who went on to work with David Hasselhoff, who is very popular in Germany.

After worship on Sunday, we raced up to Lincoln Park, where we played the pre-Superbowl party for some excited young folks. John Elway was not in attendance, but my nephew was on hand to witness his first LOST AND FOUND concert. For some reason, people began biting their nails while we played.
Nervous, are you?


Here I Stand, Way Up Here!
The next morning, after staying at the home of old-friend JD Struckman, we went to play at St. Mark's Lutheran School in Brooklyn, former city of Garrison Keillor. Michael took advantage of an opportunity to fill in for Martin Luther. While there, we got some documents notarized to verify our entry in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

The following weekend, we played a Youth Encounter event in the town that boasts maintaining the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. We met Rusty, and had lunch with his youth group.


Rusty and his pants


Rusty's fellow youth and their lunch


Michael Bob Dylan Bridges
Also at this event, Michael tried to do his Bob Dylan impression.

Sunday afternoon, we flew to Ted Turner's hometown of Atlanta, where we were honored to play for the Youth Directors of the ELCA. A wonderful time was had by all and we got to see one of our favorite speakers, Rollie Martinson.
Don't go toward the light!


Eleanor busts a move
Then we had some days off. My daughter, Eleanor, showed me her dance moves to her favorite Lucinda Williams song (track 12 on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road). Our time off the road allowed Michael and me to become tan, rested, and ready, just like Richard M. Nixon. That was appropriate, it turned out, because our next appearance was in Marion, Ohio. Most people know Marion as the home of Warren G. Harding, who is mainly remembered for being involved in a scandal during his presidency, just like William Jefferson Clinton will likely be. The event in Marion was great, as always, and we had fun fun fun, till our daddy took the t-bird away, bringing to mind a famous Beach Boys song.

Marion began a big tour for us. I'm, in fact, writing this newsletter from the road, just like Hunter S. Thompson or P.J. O'Rourke might. Of course, being on the road puts one in mind of Jack Karouac, a sound writer. And speaking of sound, we recently upgraded our sound system. Here's a photo of our new speaker.
Rock on!

Hard-wired for sound
We needed special wiring for it and were able to set up a high-tech control system.

From Marion we began a big run, like Carl Lewis or Jim Ryun might. Sunday the 21st saw us racing across Trent Reznor's Ohio, Dan Quayle's Indiana, and into Liz Phair's Illinois for a concert in Libertyville. The next morning we played for a huge group of students at the Lutheran High School of Rockford. That night it was an intimate concert in Naperville, Illinois. We then drove past Springfield, home of Abraham Lincoln, and found ourselves in Chester, Illinois, home of (you're not even going to believe this one) Popeye! This concert was the funnest of the month and featured angry hornets acting like Ralph Cramden. I'd wanted to get a photo of the Green Hornet, but the admonition of Pee Wee Herman to "take a picture it'll last longer" slipped by me.

To prepare ourselves for the long drives as we headed southward, we bought another band's biography. On a previous tour we devoured the Aerosmith biography. The current tour found us reading the story of Kiss, whose bassist at one point dated Cher, who once did a movie with Nicholas Cage, who won an Oscar, just like Tom Hanks, who once portrayed an astronaut after the manner of John Glenn, a resident of Ohio, the heart of it all.

Anyway, our travels south took us to Gillett, Arkansas (home state of . . . now what the heck is that guy's name? . . . ) where we had a surprisingly large turnout. Unfortunately, I lost one of the crowd shots from that concert and so the Photo Phrenzy shows only half the crowd. My apologies to those on the groom's side.
A fine welcome


Neatness counts, but only so much
After that we drove to Mobile, Alabama, a city which is very difficult to enter from the east on a bicycle as we once found out. After that night's concert we drove even further south to Florida, where Jeb Bush is the governor. At the American Cheerleader Association camp in Fruitland Park, we spent the weekend with 250 confirmands. They didn't win any awards for cheering or picking up after themselves. However, these junior high folks are certainly a lot of fun, and that's something that lasts until after the t-bird is gone.

After the Florida event we headed north, just like Lewis And Clark did when they were exploring territory for Thomas Jefferson, not to be confused with William Jefferson Clinton. As I was saying, we headed north and that meant it would get cold, like Vincent Price or Al Gore. Michael became concerned and thought he'd better bring a heater of some sort. So he bid on an item at an auction, just like one might for a painting by Salvador Dali. He got a little portable heater that promises to keep him warm through the long nights in Georgia, a state that is always on the mind of Ray Charles.
Now that's portable!

Though the tour continues on, you'll need to check in next month for news of how things are going in March. Two things of note: Pete, our office companion, went to the Philippines, where Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos once lived, to visit the child he sponsors through Compassion International. Read about his experience. Secondly, if you'd like to see pictures of this month's Photo Phrenzy, click on the name of a famous photographer like Ansel Adams. Beyond that, there's not much to say, except that name-dropping out of context can look really silly, don't you think (like Albert Einstein)?

More next month,

george

I &lt;3 God, sheepie

January 1999 newsletter

 

JANUARY 1999 YA2K

So I guess I don't really need to tell anybody the significance of January 1st, 1999.

It is, of course, the first day of the last days of the year that proceeds the second millennium after the birth of Jesus Christ -- modified for the 4-6 years lost by the fellow who came up with the system for predicting disaster. And with the Y2K thing hanging over our heads at the end of this year, that means that the last day of 1998 was the last day on which one could safely say that we had not yet entered into the Y2K countdown. And this got me to thinking. One cannot watch the odometer turn to 2,000 miles without preparing to watch it turn. (As an aside I feel that I must mention that watching the odometer instead of driving your car is a good means of causing an accident, which you can then blame on the fact that your odometer turned over to 2,000.) Let me be the first to lay it out: 1999 should forever after be thought of as the year that got us ready for the year 2,000. Since the year 2,000 itself has first dibs on the Y2K moniker, I propose a different name for 1999. I think we should refer to this year as YA2K. (The "A" stands for almost.) The most immediate advantage of YA2K is that our friend Bob Lenz could develop a talk based upon it. I can just hear Bob saying, "When the world says 'No 2 K' we say 'YA 2 K!'"

Furthermore, the people most up-in-arms over, and therefore gathering arms during YA2K are oftentimes the same people who last year were championing the WWJD acronym. Last year it was important to ask What Would Jesus Do? This year it's important to ask What Would Y2K Have Me Do? As I pondered all these things in my heart, I realized we should just put it all together into one big acronym: WWJDIY2K? (Looks Slovakian, don't it?)

WWJDIY2K? It's hard to say isn't it? (It's hard to answer too!) I would venture to say that our growing preoccupation with self-preservation seems decidedly un-Christlike. This hoarding of grains, water, and shotguns seems antithetical to the feeding of the 5,000, or the laying down of one's life for his friends, wouldn't you say? Though Jesus might have taken some inspiration in the popular hymns and chants of his day, I doubt very much that he'd base his ministry on adapting the Hank Williams, Jr. song to "A Nazarene Boy Can Survive." Preaching the Good News, healing the sick, feeding the poor, and saving humanity cannot be done when you're acting like Davie Crockett defending the Alamo. To do the work of Christ you've got to go out into the world.

WWJDIY2K? He'd roll up his sleeves and get to work. There's much to be done in his name; it can't be done from your mountaintop bunker living on C-rations.

And so, you're asking, what does all this have to do with LOST AND FOUND? Well, everything and nothing. YA2K is upon us, and already I've had to make changes in how our newsletters are dated. In the past each month's newsletter was named for the month in which it appeared. However, since each note covered events in the previous month we'd have things like the November Newsletter beginning with the phrase, "So, October was..." and thusly. So, beginning with the inaugural YA2K issue, the newsletters will cover the month for which they are named. And let us begin...


At the Hair Hall
In the beginning (of the month), we had some time off. Michael spent a lot of time getting his hair done I think.
He also spent some time sitting in his new house.
Looks Comfy!

 

Van On January 5th, we were supposed to play in Joplin, Missouri. However, when I got to the Detroit airport, my flight was delayed because my airline was experiencing "weather." It didn't seem so bad to me; I mean, I found a parking spot just fine. Nonetheless, we had to cancel and we were Two Bummed Dudes. (That's item #42 at the Fu Yi Restaurant, here in Toledo.)

 

However, on the 8th we zipped over to Richfield, Ohio and were back in the swing of things. We met the Teal Board (which rocks), and were made honorary members. A fun time was had by all with poolside devotions and snowstorms. During one of our workshops we met some people who fall into the musical groupie group of fans of the band called Hanson. (If you'd like to enter the contest they inspired, click here.)

 


We found it!
From there we went to Dearborn, Michigan and had a fine concert. We were happy to get to the church, because we had been looking for our "Almost There" and had just about given up hope of finding it. After that concert Michael flew home and I returned to my home.

 

Cris (my wife) and I invited some friends to dinner. After dinner I started to clear some space on the table so that I could do a little soldering. Turns out, our dinner guest Tim is a licensed electrician in the state of Pennsylvania! He fixed the microphone, good as new. I'm not sure if we broke any rules among the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers by not driving over to Pennsylvania to do the repair. If so, I'm deeply sorry about that.
Tim

 


Katy
On the 15th, we played for a huge crowd in Fair Oaks, California. Our old friend Dave Price (see Speedwood album credits) turned them out in droves. The next day we went back to Michael's house and did a little demo on a fireplace. On Sunday afternoon we played Peoria, Arizona at the church of another long-time friend, Mark Hanchet. This marked the first concert where someone flew on an airplane just to see us play! We were so impressed that we personally drove Katy back to the airport to catch her flight to Tucson. The next day we returned to our homes.

 

For the weekend of the 22nd, we went to beautiful, downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was yet another Youth Encounter gathering. On the way there, Michael's flights were delayed and re-routed and he ended up flying to Baltimore instead. On my drive I received my first speeding ticket in 7 years; I didn't have any money to pay my turnpike toll; I found out my license was expired; and my wife and I bounced a check to the IRS.
Beautiful, ain't it?

A Star!
However, once at the event we had a great time (of course!) and met the star of the weekend: Miss Molly Jane Luckenbill of Robesonia, Pennsylvania.
On Sunday evening we went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and played in a HUGE room called The Worship Center. Knowing what you know about LOST AND FOUND, you can probably guess whether we filled this room, eh? Anyway, we had a very fun concert. The next day we returned to our homes. Though Michael's flight was delayed, I got no speeding tickets and arrived home for dinner.
That's a lot of blue!

 

And that ends the first letter of the last year before the odometer turns. To see the concert pictures, click on the Photo Phrenzy. As of this writing, the Falcons have not yet beaten the Broncos, but Sunday's coming. And since it's the year of YA2K, I'd say it's time to expect the unexpected!

Rocking on, I remain,

george