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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in "Official" Lost And Found Fan Community's LiveJournal:

Thursday, August 6th, 2009
11:57 pm
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:

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
11:42 pm
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!
Monday, May 4th, 2009
11:49 am
Most Annoying Songs - Please Come Vote!
Please come vote for your top five most annoying songs at this poll! I don't have enough of a data set yet to complete a new entry about the winners! I know that people are anxious to see the results.

The poll is located here:
Friday, April 10th, 2009
7:38 pm
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!
Wednesday, December 28th, 2005
3:08 pm
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?


Saturday, May 1st, 1999
4:36 pm
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


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.

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!

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.

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!


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!


Thursday, April 1st, 1999
4:31 pm
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),


Monday, March 1st, 1999
4:29 pm
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,


4:28 pm
February 1999 newsletter


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.

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,


Monday, April 18th, 2005
4:25 pm
January 1999 newsletter


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.


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,


Friday, January 1st, 1999
3:15 pm
December 1998


So, my brothers, sisters-in-law, wife, and I were exchanging one of our series of e-mails. The topic swirled around the benefits and drawbacks of the familiar WWJD phenomenon. In an attempt to boil down my stance to a single definitive quip, I wrote "Well, one thing that I know Jesus would not do: Jesus would not ask the question What Would Jesus Do." My oldest brother shot back "Unless he were Bob Dole."

Welcome to the election newsletter. Since I'll be covering the happenings of November, it's only fitting that I fill in with some election-year moments. With that in mind, let's begin with a clarification. In last month's letter, the avid reader will recall that I claimed we were not going back to Kansas until the next millennium. Since I made that statement, we have received numerous notes from the residents of Kansas who thought we were somehow upset and therefore unwilling to return to the Sunflower State. Let me make this perfectly clear: I WAS JOKING! We love Kansas and will be only too happy to return when the fine folks will have us back.

I guess Adam was thrown out before Eve, eh?
I guess Adam was thrown out before Eve, eh?
As I mentioned last month, we spent Halloween with a bunch of cheeseheads and real bands. Here's proof that we're climbing in the real-band status graph:


Need I say more?
Need I say more?
And talk about proof, here's a little item that leaves no room for doubt that we were in the state where the Packers play:



Sloppy Joes in every potFrom there we moved on to nearby Wausau, where we played the ever-fun Gifts Galore event. Since Michael is our primary speechmaker, he laid out our platform for election. We promised Sloppy Joes in every pot, and chips and a pickle to boot.


Also at this event, we hosted a workshop that came to be known as Beethoven's Horse.

Your host for Beethoven's Horse
Your host for Beethoven's Horse
Michael receives first prize!
Michael receives first prize!
Heidi Anderson of Hurley High
Heidi Anderson of Hurley High
Michael tries to shake a few hands while campaigning
Michael tries to shake a few hands while campaigning

How do you spell puzzle?
How do you spell puzzle?
Our pal Pete made up some cue cards for Michael's speech about our recent trip to Cedar Brook.


How do you spell puzzle?From there we campaigned over to Webster City, Iowa. Had a fun time in a beautiful church. Then, the next day, we played the Lutheran High School in Northrop, where all the students are visitors.



Let's Make a Deal!Our election swing then took us to our first Youth Encounter event of the season, the Minneapolis Junior High Quake. This was where it occurred to us that our presence seems to turn every evening into an episode of Let's Make A Deal! People at LOST AND FOUND concerts paint their faces and wear strange clothes. When we show up places people dress like this fellow.


Let's Make a Deal!Michael, in an effort to win the confidence of the voters jumps right in. At some point not long ago Michael yelled out, "Okay I've got $50 for the first person who can show me a hairpin!" I tell you, it's crazy out there on the campaign trail.



KevinAnyway, at the always-a-blast Youth Encounter event we had a blast. I took this guy's picture for some reason having to do with his birthday, but I can't recall what. I guess I'm just getting old.



Mayer, MNThen we played in Rochester, Minnesota, as in, Rock-on-with-a-new-rock-Hester. XY=XZ (where X=Great, Y=crowd, Z=time). The next day found us in Mayer, Minnesota playing another Lutheran High School. Last time we played this one they had us on tables in the cafeteria. This time they have the most serious auditorium we've played in some time.


a catIn the parking lot afterward, I saw a cat. I suppose that makes him a Mayer Cat, as in Hakuna Matada.


a signOn the way out of town I snapped a photo of the two signs on the edge of town. Based upon a quick head count, every single resident of Mayer is a Lutheran High School student.



Candidate Bridges cleans house!
Candidate Bridges cleans house!
While traveling to Clinton, Iowa for our next appearance, we were surprised to find that we had a police escort, courtesy of the Minnesota Highway Patrol. We were even more surprised to find out that he was just pulling us over. After Michael spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to find our insurance card, we realized it was time for some van cleaning.



JenThen our election effort took us to Peoria, Illinois. As I recall, this is where the Let's-make-a-deal aspect included people bringing a stuffed doll called Ed. Afterward, we went to Applebee's with our friend Jen and celebrated her birthday.

She claimed to like Michael's campaign contributions the best, but I really thought I scored with that Hanson book gift idea. From there we headed to O'Fallon, Illinois where the formula 2XY=2XZ is more appropriate. What a wonderful night, complete with the stock photos of high school plays, ballet dancing, and wrestlers helping us move equipment.

And then, it was off to Nashvegas, Tennessee, the crown jewel of our November campaign efforts. We were once more honored to ascend the dias at a Youth Specialties National Youthworkers Convention. These guys do it up big!

Here's our power supply
Here's our power supply
Here's our power supply
Here's the phone it powered!

This house needs some cleaning!
This house needs some cleaning!
This event was attended by over 5,000 youth workers from all over the country. What that meant for us, then, was that we had to use the Bobby Kennedy entrance. After we were all moved in, we sort of sat around and waited for our time on the big stage. Fortunately, this happened before we had any serious nervous breakdowns, and we emerged unscathed.



And so, it's on to Miamisburg for a win in Ohio!And so, it's on to Miamisburg for a win in Ohio!



If you'd like to see some photos from this month's concerts, be sure to visit the Photo Phrenzy page.

See you next month . . .


Tuesday, December 1st, 1998
3:13 pm
November 1998


If I may quote myself: I'm not ashamed of the Gospel, but I've met some people who are. Claiming their anger is God's will their self-righteousness goes too far.

So, October was a scary and bloody month. The reputation of Christians in America was dealt some serious blows. First, a young gay man was beaten to death in Wyoming. The Christians who got the press coverage were the ones carrying protest signs at his funeral (a funeral!). So much for the hope of the resurrection, eh? Later in the month, a doctor was gunned down in his kitchen (in his kitchen!). The Christians who got the press coverage called the murderer a "hero" for ending the doctor's "bloodthirsty practice." So much for loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you, eh? It's a telling commentary that Salman Rushdie would be safer in an Iranian market than a doctor in his Buffalo home, or a homosexual where the buffalo roam. More to the point is this . . .

I was standing on line at some grocery store in some town in some state. Like any good shopper, I was paging through People Magazine as I stood there. I looked on page 53 at the photos from the funeral of Matt Shepard, and I saw her--the ultimate test case. A large suburban looking mom in a faux-vinyl poncho holding two huge signs that read "FAGS DOOM NATIONS" and "MATT IN HELL." (These folks have not yet mastered lower-case letters. Next year they hope to construct signs with up to four words that make sentences containing verbs and stuff.) The photo is disturbing, but it raises two important questions about the nature of God.

1) Is God so merciful that he can forgive this woman's blatant act of cruel inhumanity?
2) If God can forgive this woman, and she will be heaven, is it a place we really want to go?

It seems to me that it just got a little harder to convince people of God's love. It seems a tad more challenging to convince the unchurched that heaven is worth more than a passing nod. It might even be hard for some people to continue to go to church these days. But I have some advice for you, oh reader. I can't remember offhand where I read this before, but here's what I think you should do: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. (Note to large suburban woman in faux-vinyl poncho: this might involve putting down your signs, removing logs from your eye, and getting a life.)

The month for LOST AND FOUND was not nearly so bad. On the last day of September we played a really fun event with our pals Jonathan Rundman and Beki Hemingway. It was a groovy, coffeehouse in Old Town Chicago and, though Michael was somewhat voiceless, we "dug it" as the young folks used to say. Becky croons one
Beki croons one.

Then we headed for our Last Kansas Tour of The Millennium. We knew we wouldn't be back for a while, so we did it up big. We began the trip as far west in Kansas as one can go: Garden City. Though we saw no gardens in town, we certainly did smell some cows. That very night, the local team (Garden City High School) was playing football against their local rivals (Liberal High School). Unfortunately, we were among the few who couldn't attend the game, since we had a concert to play.

Then we traveled clear across the state to Topeka (which is the capital of the state, and home to gay-rights activist Fred Phelps, organizer of the funeral protest mentioned above). We played twice that night: once for worship, and once for concert. Then we began consulting the map and the locals on where, exactly, they keep Ellinwood in Kansas. We found out and zipped over there for our Final Kansas Concert of The Millennium. We were supposed to play the concert outdoors, but the locals knew to have the concert inside because the tornadoes aren't as bad in the church sanctuary.

Any guesses why we can't come back until2000?

Any guesses why we can't come back until 2000?

After Kansas, we went home for a few minutes, and then we flew to Denver to take part in our first-ever Youth Specialties National Youthworkers Convention (an honor above all honors). We knew we were completely out of our league this time, and assumed that they invited us to play there by mistake.

Our favorite production crew
Our favorite production crew
They let me call some shots
They let me call some shots
Michael poses with our favorite Real Band singer
Michael poses with our favorite Real Band singer
Do you boys have a sales license?
Do you boys have a sales license?

Then we took a couple more days off. Lately, my wife and I have been telling our daughter that she dresses like a hippie. She always gets defensive and claims "I'm not a hickey!" Either way, take a look at this photo and see if you agree: I rest my case
I rest my case.

Then, in an effort to plan ahead, I tried to assemble a basket of goodies for the youngsters on All Hallows' Eve. Here's what I put together with stuff we have around the house. My wife doesn't think that kids will like the limes. But I figure, hey, every child is different, right? Trick or tonic?
Trick or tonic?

And now it's on to Chicago!After setting up the neighborhood food drive, I drove out to Valpa-rain-snow windy-anna. Michael flew in to Chicago and got a ride from our friend Joel. We met at Valparaiso University and settled in for a couple of concerts. The highlight was being inducted into the Jon Rivera Fan Club. (Don't forget our membership cards you guys!) Not sure what it all means, but Jon is a popular guy around campus these days. Here's a fine photo of us with the man himself.

Slide GirlsOnce more there was the now-familiar contingent of folks with Slide Girl shirts.

From there we returned to Western New York (our area of origin) to play at Camp Pioneer. We participated in a great event, complete with junior high students, and camp counselors from last summer. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet the new Program Director since he was unable to be there for this fun-filled weekend. Michael, however, had the opportunity to meet with the Facilities Director. Michael spent some time showing Mike the motions to "His Banner over Me Is Love."
Michael says 'And that's all there is to it, Mike!'
Michael says "And that's all there is to it, Mike!"

On Sunday I raced home to my wife who was having a birthday while the Bills were busy beating another undefeated team. When I got home, and we were planning where to go for dinner, Eleanor kept pushing for Arby's because they have that playground thing. I explained that maybe the mom should pick the place; the daughter conceded.

A few days later it was back to Western New York (our area of origin) to play in West Seneca (just west of Seneca, I suppose). This concert began our rust-belt swing from Buffalo, to Pittsburgh, to Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay. But I'm getting ahead of myself. After the West Seneca concert, we got together with our old friend George Hampton who is about to get married on Halloween. (Hey, I could supply the refreshments . . . as long as people like limes.) Here's a photo of the happy couple.
Those costumes will never do!
Those costumes will never do!

The next day we headed for Cabot, PA, which we circled on all three sides before finally taking the right exit. After the concert I dropped the piano stand on my foot and, as the southern folks say, "I liked to die!" It hurt like . . . now what's that word? . . . oh yes, A LOT! So, Eleaine, spouse to local sherrif drove me over the hospital. Turns out my foot was not broken; it just had the pain button turned all the way up. They sent me on our way.

Next night was Fairview Park, OH (Cleveland to you and me). We took the scenic route through a large park that was not supposed to be on our way. Some would say "lost," but that's just the way those negative people think. We had a great turnout. Some folks down front claimed to have freeze-dried Michael. They had me going and I even took a couple of photos to remember him by.

Then we played at Concordia College, Ann Arbor, MI. Always a great crowd, and a bouncy room. Afterwards we went to my house to sleep and then headed off to Columbus, OH, to play our first recital.
Michael prepares for his Publick Concert of Music
Michael prepares for his Publick Concert of Music.

It was a truly formal affair, and the crowd was quiet and respectful. Or maybe they were wild and out of control; I can't quite remember which.
Cindy & Rachel were in charge of crowd (out of)control.
Cindy & Rachel were in charge of crowd (out of) control.

After that, Michael flew and I drove to our respective homes, where we're gearing up for a big Halloween night. Though we cannot attend the wedding of George and Jen, we're going spend the day in the presence of a bunch of Real Bands and cheeseheads. Should be a grand affair.

If you'd like to see photos of the crowds at this month's concerts, click the November Photo Phrenzy to see everyone we saw.

More next month,


Sunday, November 1st, 1998
3:10 pm
October 1998


Sorry for the length of this newsletter: it's Fall Tour Time. But if you keep inviting us to play all these concerts you're only encouraging us.

This month's newsletter isn't really much news or much letter: It's pictures. Think of this as a photo album. So, when you're ready to rock on, get yourself a cup of strong coffee and get ready read on with a new read oh God. For those about to rock on, we salute you.

Over the years, Michael has had various collections. As a child he collected baseball cards. Later in life he built a stockpile of matchbooks. He has also gathered cards from the back of hotel bathroom doors. Most recently, Michael has decided to collect candy bar wrappers containing birth announcements. (If you've seen them, you know what they are; if you haven't seen them, you will soon.) I have never really collected anything. But recently I have begun a collection of butterflies. I like to take them with me when I travel, so I keep them on a special mounting surface that I always take with me when I'm in the van.

My butterfly collection
My butterfly collection

Speaking of naturalists, I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to our friend Pete. Mr. Obermueller has signed on as the new Boy Friday for LOST AND FOUND.

JPO Cowboy
JPO Cowboy
Pete does e-mail while Michael pumps gas
Pete does e-mail while Michael pumps gas

Pete has taken over for our beloved Justin Vetrano (see August Newsletter). If you'd like to know more about Pete, you can visit our special Nice To Meet Pete page.

So, last month. Wait, I'd better backup . . . at the very end of August we played a thing or two that didn't make the September letter. First was a fine concert in Washington, Iowa.

 You see who's in back there, eh?
You see who's in back there, eh?

Then it was off to Saint Cloud, MN.

In St Cloud, there were some guys there who wanted us to play a certain song. They were afraid that we might not remember the words, I guess, so they provided a little prompting.

Then it was off to Westby, WI, where we found a sizable number came out to see us. And, of course, we saw them.

I believe from there I went to build a shed. On the third day I drove again, and descended into Kentucky where I sat at the left hand of Michael, the Bridgeman. From thence we shall judge the good bands from the bad. Oh, sorry. I slipped into a little credal cadence there. What I meant was, I began constructing a shed to hold my growing collection of butterflies.

Then Michael and I went to eastern Kentucky to play at the Shigionoth Festival (where we shiggied on in King James' style). We had a great time and were honored to be MC LOST AND FOUND once again. Met bunches of great bands, one very nasty tour manager for a band that refused to play, and were blessed to witness the shofar.

Michael watches a member of the ska band The Israelites

Our favorite band of the weekend was called Pallette. They were really fun, interesting, and A-P-P-R-O-A-C-H-A-B-L-E. (That's a word that means, essentially, "just like you and me," though in some cases it might just mean "unsigned.") Look for them playing in a town near you.

Pallette Shiggies on

We tried our best to be one of the bands. We parked our van next to the real bands' busses and tried to spend our off-stage minutes in there, but it quickly became apparent that sitting in a cargo van wasn't quite the same as watching movies in an air conditioned Silver Eagle.

A real band crowds our turf


The following night we played my alma mater--Concordia College, Bronxville, NY 10708. As you can see, we suffer a little from the Nazarene Complex when we play there.

It takes three frames to fit 'em all in!

Then we went to one of our favorite events of the year: The annual Hammonasset Gathering. This is where 500-700 zany northerners camp out, watch videos, sing songs, and worship together in a state park. It's really fun, without fail. Here are a few photos from the event . . .

The Happy Peace Sign
The Happy Peace Sign
Rock on, nor'easters!
Rock on, nor'easters!

From there it was off to Oreland, PA (that's Philadelphia to you and me)

A fine crowd, eh?

Then we drove to chocolate town. However, the church where we played does not seem to support the local economy, since it is called the Hershey Free Church. Here's a snapshot of the rather excitable group of folks, some whom were heavy caffeinated-soda drinkers.

Then, and only then, did we have a day or two off. Michael went home to Los Angeles and I went home to my wife (where she and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary) and I put doors on the shed since my butterflies kept spilling out. Once the butterflies were safely ensconced, I jumped in the van and drove out to Chicago where I picked up some of our groovy tie-dyed shirts from Henryk and the Rasta Russians, then met Michael at the airport. We played in Lansing, Illinois.

Then we zipped eastward and just short of being stripsearched, oh I mean entering Canada, we stopped in Port Huron for a few hamburgers and songs. The setting was intimate, but they had the greatest visual choir we've never heard.



Then it was off to a guaranteed great time at Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin. This began our non-Nazarene-complex Concordia swing.

Banner moment
Three frames cannot stop these folks; they can only contain them!

Next up was Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois.

Rock on CURFers!

In the anchor position was Concordia College, Seward, Nebraska. Without fail, this concert goes swimmingly since it is always held in the room that we're convinced was once the swimming pool. Every year the students humor us by placing a "no diving" sign on the organ pipes next to the stage. They've also added a quilted banner/phone/slicer/dicer on the opposite wall.

Again, only contained; balcony sold separately.

When that concert was over, we began driving toward the Rockies. The next night it was Colby, Kansas. We had a fine time, and some people came to watch us have that time. Earlier, there were actually more people than in the photo. However, after we played "Used To Be," about 20 or so people inexplicably got up and left. People of Colby, we are with you and we hope that you continue to rock on!

From there it was off to that place where Pete's football team plays. We had a concert in Littleton, in the most beautiful church we've seen in some time.

Then we played one of the more curious events of the years. We put on our velvet tuxes and ruffled shirts and took to the stage as Denver Lutheran High School's Homecoming Entertainment. Following the crowning of the king and queen, we began playing and chased away most of the adults (along with a good number of the students).

The next night it was Atkinson, NE, which isn't exactly on the way to anything. However, a huge crowd turned out, many of whom drove more than two hours! We had a fine time playing on the home turf of the Huskies. Here's a shot or four of the crowd.


If you've got some spare time and are looking for a challenging mental exercise, try this one: Imagine you're leaving Atkinson, NE at 10:00pm and are heading for Sioux Falls, SD where you hope to sleep. The trick is, try to find a route that gets you there without getting lost, yet doesn't take you via Sioux City, IA. Good luck, my friends! We were once more treated to lyrical assistance with a particular song, as you can see.

Then it was drive drive drive to The Metroplex (as local news people call it). Our friend Rollie Martinson invited us to play something he set up in Burnsville, MN. The church was called Prince of Peace, but I believe a more accurate name would be Monstrously Large or perhaps The Church of the Hidden Front Door. A huge crowd turned out and we had a jim dandy time with lights, a disco ball, and a talk by our favorite gymnast.

Once more did we get lyrical help with that song.

Also that night, we reconnected with a fellow that we've not seen since high school! Take a look at that photo and consider which color dominates; then try to guess which a airline our friend Mike works for.

A couple of Mikes

Okay, we're winding down now. The next morning Michael began to contract laryngitis and we played at the chapel service at Concordia University, Metroplex, MN. After that we had a really interesting time with a theology class. In the evening we played a concert for the students.

The next day Michael's voice had completely abandoned him and we drove to Baraboo, WI. (Not sure what that town's name means, but it might have something to do with the crowds chanting to Pontius Pilate.) Anyway, we played in the Al. Ringling ("Al." apparently always takes the period) Theater. It was (and is) and absolutely gorgeous place. Though I suspect old Al. might have done a little turning in his grave that night.

And that, my friends, is what I did on my September vacation. I hope you found it informative and nutritious. Oh yes, please don't get a generous spirit and start sending me butterflies for my collection. I've run out of room already, and the Architectural Revue Board won't give me permission to build another shed any time soon.

More next month,


Thursday, October 1st, 1998
3:08 pm
September 1998


Yep. Another month has passed us by.

Technically, here in Ohio, summer is over since the young people started school today. Thankfully, since I'm no longer in high school, summer goes on until I decide to stop mowing the lawn. This means that I can claim an endless summer-as it were-as long as there's no snow. However, my thoughts on summer have little to do with LOST AND FOUND except van maintenance and inventory storage. Thus, I move on to the informational section which I'll call "Our Month."

In early August, Michael and I had some time off. Michael went to carry forth at Camp Pioneer in New York, while my wife and I opened a bed and breakfast for a week or two. Then, on August 11th Michael and I headed for the state of Washington to play at Island Lake Camp. It is a most wondrous place, where campers do the craziest things. I know of no other camp where young people can ride motorcycles and horses, sail bicycles off water slides, experience the blob, all the while spending so much time studying the Bible.

Rugged campers looking dry
Rugged campers looking surprisingly dry for Seattle.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to offer shirts to the fine folks at that camp because the company that ships them completely failed us.

Michael hopes
Michael hopes for service, but it's not time yet.
I can't quite remember what that company is called, but I believe their acronym stands for Usually Pretty Slow, though it might mean Unusually Paltry Service. At any rate, we stayed over an extra night so that we could get the shirts at their office. Of course, their office didn't open until 11 a.m. and some people had concerts in Idaho to drive to.

So, off we drove to Idaho. If you've never been to the middle of Washington state, I will describe it for you. Picture my lawn, unmowed for three months, and then dried out from a three-month drought, which caused all the residents to move away to Seattle (where all the rain falls). Oh wait, that description will never do; you've never seen my lawn. Anyway, we had to cross the whole state to get to the next camp: Camp Lutherhaven.

Sure gets dark around here . . .
Gets dark
and blurry
. . . and blurry too!

Off we drove back to Wenatchee (that's in Washington, though it sounds like it should be in a Dr. Seuss book). We played for a grand group from Free Methodist churches all over Washington. What I mean is, we played for people who were from all over Washington . . . I don't mean we turned up the amps to eleven. One thing I must stress about these folks: They can stay in the kitchen! It was over 100 degrees each day and they spent all day outside and camped in tents at night! I'm perspiring just thinking about it.

Free Methodist cooling off
The Free Methodist group spends some time cooling off.

Then we played for some folks at a church in Tacoma (rhymes with bologna in some regions).
Tacomans (rhymes with bolognans)
Up here
Hey you guys! We're up here!

Then we went home for a few days and my daughter drew this picture.

no dress
That's me in the upper left: no dress

The following weekend it was out to Iowa. First we visited Marshalltown (rhymes with Our Small Town, though it's the largest city for miles, and miles, and miles). LARGE waterExcuse me, but I
think I ordered the
LARGE water?

Taco Johns
Taco Johns solos away
The opening band was called Taco Johns. They were really fun, and their brief set culminated in the ever-popular Guitar Solo On Top Of The Amp In The Chancel Routine. This move has become kind of passè in Lutheran Churches, as you might guess, since most pastors include it as part of the Kyrie.

Here're the Marshalltownians (rhymes with I'll Call Down Again) . . .

Bride's side
Bride's side
Groom's side
Groom's side

Then off we raced to Kansas to play at whichever of their universities is in Lawrence. (We can't keep them straight, so we often say things like "Go Wild Hawks" or "How 'bout them Jay Cats?" That way everybody's equally mad about our ignorance. It's sort of reverse spin control.) We had some hamburgers, played some songs, told the people "hey," and had a very nice time.

Hey, who turned out the lights?
lights out
All blurry
Hey, who made us all blurry?

Following that (and adding to our confusion over which school is which) we drove to Manhattan (like New York, but in Kansas) where we spent the evening and all the next day with our friends Jack and Jane--as in, went up to Maine to fetch a pail of water. Of course, since Jack and Jane have a huge boat, they need more than a pail .  . they need a huge lake. They took us out on their groovy boat and keel-hauled us. Fortunately, their boat has no keel and no barnacles, so it was more like being "algae-wiped" than anything. It was great fun! However, I don't have any photos of the day because the camera was lost when the boat tipped over, and I had to single-handedly right the boat to the cheers of onlookers and Coast Guard officers who watched helplessly, unable to muster the strength needed to surpass my heroics. Either that, or I forgot to bring the camera that day. I can't remember which one, exactly.

Anyway, here's a little advertising that Jane thought might bring out some folks . . .

Our poster
That's our poster in the bottom right

and here's the fine group of Manhattanites who came to visit . . .

Speedwood 101
Welcome to Speedwood 101, class.

Following that weekend, we took a few days off. Well, by "off" what I mean is we chained ourselves to desks and worked on office stuff. I tell you, where's a Vetrano when you need one?

More next month,


Read more of George's monthly newsletters.

Tuesday, September 1st, 1998
3:07 pm
August 1998


If I may paraphrase . . . If you've got five hours to spare, let me tell you the story of July.

34, clumsy, and shy, I went to Fort Collins and almost died. This is one seriously LONG newsletter, packed with details and photos which will really satisfy. In fact, it includes a supplementary opinion piece on a separate page, for those who feel the spirit of adventure. On with the details!

It all began (when I say "it all" I mean, of course, July) with a trip out west to play at the Evangelical Free National Gathering. Over 5,000 youth and adults came together for a week of fun, learning, and acrobatics. It was a truly wild week. Michael and I were employed as busboys on the stage as well as occasional musicians.

Business picks up for Michael
Business picks up for Michael
Michael tries out new credentials
Michael tries out new credentials
We saw Grace every single day
We saw Grace every single day
And we met the guys from PFR, so we made them pose for a cheesy name-dropping photo
And we met the guys from PFR, so we made them pose for a cheesy name-dropping photo

Now for a little background . . . Michael and I grew up in upstate New York; there are no mountains there. Consequently--though we spent time eluding truancy officers and chemical dumps--we have never rappelled down a cliff. While there is the Niagara gorge, only the members of Greenpeace are nutty enough to go hanging by a rope over those rapids. Suffice it to say: we have no experience with Because-It's-There equipment. Carabiners are people who vacation in the West Indies. Rappelling is the function of Deep Woods OffTM. Harness describes trifecta results or is what we do to natural resources.

So, on the last night of the Ev Free National Gathering, after much set-up, here we come dropping out of the ceiling.

We can fly!  We can fly!
We can fly! We can fly!
Here's the view from where we started
Here's the view from where we started

What a finish, eh? All in all a great week--nobody got hurt. You know the old saying: it's not a party until somebody rappels in off the catwalk above the stage!

Childhood heroAfter that fun, we headed off to visit our neighbors to the north in Canada. The whole drive I kept making comments about how rough the roads are in Canada. Turned out that the fellows over at the local auto repair place (who shall go unnamed except to say that they're the first ones listed under the heading General Stores) forgot to attach one of the new shocks they installed! Anyway(s), we got to Canada just fine and played in the town of Waterloo (as in Napoleon). Here's a picture of our childhood hero, Randy Stonehill, entertaining the folks from The True North Strong And Free.

From there, we somehow got back into the United States (I've maintained everyone's dignity by skipping over the excitement of our entry into Canada) and stayed at my house to watch the annual fireworks display over the mighty Maumee River. From there we headed to the Sonshine Festival in Willmar, MN. On the way we stopped to provide a little mosquito food and play some music for the campers at Camp Omega in Waterville. Here's a shot or two of people wearing mosquito repellent.

Mosquitos More mosquitos

Then we arrived at Sonshine. (Speaking of that festival, when you're done with this narrative stuff, if you want to go to the supplementary opinion page, click here.) Here are some photos to prove our whereabouts for those four days.

Michael and some helpers
Michael and some helpers
Tibetan contingent
Tibetan contingent
Happy monks, at that
Happy monks, at that

As soon as I arrived home, my wife had to head out to visit friends. Since I was scheduled to play the next night, my daughter had to choose between Cleveland with me, or Genoa with her grandmother.

Here she is packed for Genoa
Here she is packed for Genoa
And here are the fine folks
And here are the fine folks of Cleveland
of Cleveland

Then (can you believe it's still July?), my family and I went on a brief vacation to upstate New York (refer back to paragraph 3 for justification of locale). We had a fine time at the mouth of the Niagara River, which included a relaxing boat ride.

RELAXING boat ride!!!RELAXING boat ride!!!

I also had the opportunity to check out the construction site of the new high school in Niagara Falls. If you know a little bit about the history of our hometown, then you can understand that they're building this new school in the safest location they could find. Looks pretty inviting and serene, doesn't it?

What power lines?What power lines?

Then we went to the event of the year: The 1998 Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Youth Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia (enough capital letters there?). For five days over 30,000 people descended upon the city of Atlanta and had a most wonderful gathering of folks. Cannot begin to cover it all, but if you want to see photos, click here to go see various crowds and possibly find your own bad self amongst the people.

As for your heroes, LOST AND FOUND, we were honored with the opportunity to climb up on the big stage (you know, where the real bands play) and do a couple of numbers. We know that the organizers were cutting us a tremendous break and we were thus in no danger of getting big heads about being up there. However, try though we might to keep excitement in check, the camera guys give everyone a big head when they're on the main stage. Take a look here and you'll see what I mean . . .

George's head
George's head
Michael's head
Michael's head

Crowd pays its respectsThen (and it's STILL only July!), we headed back to Ohio and played in Ottawa, Ohio at the "Taste of Putnam" festival (or maybe it's a street fair? Possibly a train depot?). We had a really great time and had to stop three times to wait for Casey Junior to cruise by in his Engineer cameo. The first time he came by we played Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull. On subsequent passes we just asked the crowd to stand and wave.

And finally (FINALLY!), we have come to the end of the month of July. Don't forget to go back and check out the supplementary opinion page if you have time. And since it is now August, that means that we have a little newsworthy news to pass along. Our friend and traveling companion Justin Vetrano (known by various mutations such as Dustin B Trano, Justin of Toronto, Jason Vetrano, not to mention his aliases "Stage Boy" and "The Italian"), where was I? . . . oh yes . . . Justin will be leaving the LOST AND FOUND life to veer off on an adventure of his own. Justin, Kim, and Sydney are moving to New York so that Justin can go back to school (I think he needs another semester to finish sixth grade). He'll be working with the youth at St. James Lutheran in St. James Long Island and probably listen to Rebecca St. James' records; his goal is to move on toward medical school. If you'd like to send Justin a note, you may do so at justin@speedwood.com.

To quote Storyhill: We wish them well, what else can you do? They're on their way and so are you. You look forward to another time, to tell them how it's been.

May God bless the Vetranos. We thank them for their sacrifice in the ministry of LOST AND FOUND. It will not be as easy nor nearly as fun without their help.

More next month,


Read more of George's monthly newsletters.

Saturday, August 1st, 1998
3:06 pm
July 1998

JULY 1998

So, what happened last month?

We celebrated my daughter's fourth birthday. When Eleanor was born, we were living in Los Angeles (about which I withhold comment). The day of her birth, two big events occupying the attention of the world were happening in LA that June. And so, it is with great fondness that we reflect upon the birth of our daughter, the world cup of soccer, and the low-speed high-coverage pursuit of O.J. Simpson. What a time it was. Remember how young we were back then? Yes, it was something how simple life was in those days. But, enough of my reminiscing. . .

Speaking of racing, on June 9th Michael and I got to meet an actual NASCAR driver! The folks of Conover, NC invited us to play an event with Dale Jarrett. Mr. Jarrett placed second in points last year on the NASCAR circuit. He drives a Ford Taurus, which is a car quite similar to the Escort my wife and I drive. Dale's Taurus seems larger than the ones I've seen down at the local Ford dealership; it seems to go a little faster than our Escort as well. However, as we learned four years ago, sometimes a low-speed chase can garner more publicity than the Sunday afternoon slugfest. I could have taken photos to prove the whole thing, but I forgot to get batteries for the official LOST AND FOUND camera. . . Hey, back off man! I can't remember everything!

The next day (speaking of traveling quickly), LOST AND FOUND was honored to have twenty or so minutes playing at the annual "Created To Praise" festival, put on by our friends Barb and Dave Anderson. We flew to Detroit, picked up our van, and drove to the event, which was held in Chicago. Then we went home and waited around until June 19th, when we drove to Atlanta. (Well, Lilburn is the name of the actual town. Lilburn, as in "not too severe." Lilburn, as in "just a little blister." In the past tense you could say, Lilburnt, as in "he didn't rip us off exactly, we was just a Lilburnt." And, properly used, it can even describe the contents of the birdhouse in our back yard, as in "Hey! That box over yonder in the tree has a Lilburnit!") Anyway(s), the concert there went well, and since I got some batteries I have two photos to prove it.

Half a Lilburn
Half a Lilburn
More of a Lilburn crowd
More of a Lilburn crowd

And then, to top off a good month, we headed to Alabama (that's not the good part) to play at an event called Affirm. Affirm is hard to describe, and no one believes us when we tell them how great it is. Essentially, 400-500 high school students get together in groups of 30-50 and have classes. Yes, that's right: they study! Can you believe such nonsense? The craziest thing of all is, the participants love it, the leaders love it, the band LOST AND FOUND loves it. . . It simply is a great event. The downside to Affirm is that it always happens in the summer, in the hottest part of the country. (Well, that's not entirely true. The hottest place in the country is really my grandmother's apartment on the coldest day of winter.) Being in Alabama in the summer is not too much for this band of northerners, as long as things happen inside. Our 1:00pm concert, however, was held outdoors in the amphitheater. The participants were able to find some shade and enjoy their lunches to the soothing strains of some acoustic thrash. Michael and I got a Lilburn since there was no shade over the stage. However, as I noted, it's a grand event to be able to play and we're so happy they had us back.

Fast-moving, mysterious, brave man wearing dark colors in the Alabama summer is risking a Lilburn!
Fast-moving, mysterious, brave man wearing dark colors in the Alabama summer is risking a Lilburn!
An Affirming crowd
An Affirming crowd
Avoiding Lilburn in Alabama.
Avoiding Lilburn in Alabama. (note the empty hot seats!)

Following the Alabaman stint, we began driving north and arrived the next day at my house where we are resting up preparing for the onslaught of July. Later this month, Justin and Michael get to make a big drive down to Atlanta and I get to fly. It's just a little experiment in role-reversal for us. With Michael living in Los Angeles and all, I'm sure he'll be tempted to drive slowly and pack a disguise. Since I live in Ohio (birthplace of the Wright brothers), I'm sure I'll be itching to get a little windshield time in the cockpit.

More next month,


Read more of George's monthly newsletters.

Wednesday, July 1st, 1998
3:04 pm
June 1998

JUNE 1998

Settle in for a long one. I have a couple of stories for you. Okay, so here's one . . .

It's last month, we're hosting the Agape Festival in Greenville, Illinois. (I'm using the historical present to give the story a more urgent feel and to propel the reader right into the narrative along with me.) We have been given the title "M.C." though it is commonly spelled "emcee." Thus we are, for all intents and purposes "M.C. LOST AND FOUND," the houseboys of all the housies who are "in the field" at the event. But that's all just set-up for the following.

So anyway, Reality Check has just finished their set and Seven Day Jesus is up next with Third Day in the on-deck circle. There's a ton of confusion as various stage guys are dragging around cords and amps and M-Dogg and G-Catt (that's us, your houseboys MC LOST AND FOUND) are trying to hold the attention of the audience by running through some sing-alongs. Finally, the word is passed over to us that the band is ready. So, standing at the ready at their respective microphones and instruments are the members of the band Seven Day Jesus.

Michael turns to the crowd of 2,000 gathered and shouts into his microphone "Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome THIRD DAY!"

There is utter silence. Michael looks around. He realizes his mistake and tries to correct it but the super-efficient sound guys have turned off his mic. The band begins to play. M-Dogg humbly retreats to the wings and plans how exactly to word his apology.

Later in the month of May (I was strolling through the park one day), we were psyched to participate in the annual Spring Fling at Camp Calumet in New Hampshire. For those of you unfamiliar with New Hampshire, it's essentially halfway to Germany. We had a great time, but while we were there somebody swiped my slinky. Ordinarily this would not be a big deal since Walmart always has slinkys (slinkies?). However, there are at least two places on earth where there are no Walmarts: Maumee, Ohio and Frankfurt, Germany. Fortunately I was able to locate them on the entryway display at my local Toys R U. Toys R Me? Toys R Yous? Spiel ist Vie? Nevermind. Suffice it to say, I found a slinky within 2 hours of leaving for Germany, so the Calumet staff is off the hook.

The Spring Flingers are with us!
The Spring Flingers are with us!

But wait, there's still more! After those two events we headed for Germany. We were treated to fun, fact-filled travels with our good friend Christian Utpatel. He drove us all over the country; he set up bunches of concerts; he presented the toilet bowl at the national youth gathering. (I'm just going to leave it at that and let you imagine the details. No matter what you come up with, it won't hold a candle to the actual event!) We spent ten days in the Fatherland, and found out the following facts:

  1. Germans drive really fast and are obsessed with traffic news
  2. Germans eat a lot of bread, cheese, and sausage
  3. Germans have the most unusual and interesting youth events we have ever seen
  4. Germans are people with whom we are (as these fine photos prove)

Telling our stories would take a long time and would not do justice to our trip. So below is what you might call a photo essay. This is how I can become a prolific writer. You've got to figure, if each one's worth a thousand words, well . . .

The Berliners brought their own Ricola noisemakers
The Berliners brought their own Ricola noisemakers
Have you ever heard of "O-h-i-o?"
The friendliest German of all!  Our pal Christian
The friendliest German of all! Our pal Christian

Read more of George's monthly newsletters.

Monday, June 1st, 1998
3:02 pm
May 1998
MAY 1998

We found ourselves quite busy in April, though we took time off for the first two weeks of the month. For those two weeks our lives sort of mirrored each other. Below, a brief comparison . . .

Michael went to Paris and felt the joys and anxieties of foreign travel. I stayed at home and did my taxes. Michael worshipped on Good Friday at the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral, which in French means either "Sacred Heart" or "really big building." I worshipped at St. Paul's, which in Ohio means "the church I go to." Michael strolled the streets of Paris by the River Seine. I strolled down to the post office to mail my tax returns out by 5 p.m.

All in all, not much difference in our activities. I think next year I might travel to Europe and see if Michael is interested in filing my tax forms for me.

Anyway, not much to report beyond that. In the second half of the month, we flew to Dallas for a Lutheran Youth Workers' Convention where we had a great time. From there we were off to Chicago and a win in November with your support! Oh, that was from our Presidential campaign speech, sorry. What I meant was, off to Chicago for a Youth Encounter Jr. High gathering. The following week we were honored to play at the Ichthus Festival in Wilmore, Kentucky where we met hundreds of people and had a most marvelous time.
Friday, May 1st, 1998
3:01 pm
The newsletters begin
APRIL 1998

So you might be asking "hey, what happened in the lives of Michael and George last month?" If you are, this page is for you. If you couldn't care less, then go back to the page about how to order stuff.

March was a very busy month for us; actually, "busy" might be the wrong word. Perhaps what I'm after is "unusual" or "important." To cut to the chase: WE HAVE A NEW STUDIO ALBUM!!! Yes, it's true: your friends LOST AND FOUND have returned from the studio relatively unscathed and sporting a new album. For those who've been listeners (or "toleraters") for a long time, you'll note it's been about three years since we braved the studio. But, happily, we survived and have produced THIS. (THIS is the name of the album. What I mean is, the album is called THIS.)

THIS has twelve songs, one of which is repeated 9 times. THIS also includes two bonus tracks with a full band ("Lions" and "Baby"). We're quite pleased with the final project. Many have said it's our best album to date. (I was going to say "some of them weren't even family members"; then I was tempted to say something about the marriage prospects of our other albums; finally I thought it best to just move back to the original thought which was THIS.)

I suppose what finally spurred us into the studio again was a renewed sense of wanting to hear THE GOSPEL in music. We've heard more than our share of THE LAW in music these days. There are plenty of songs out there telling people to behave and live right and straighten up and fly right and shun wrong and turn right. While these might be lofty goals in and of themselves, they don't really direct one's attention to the saving work of God.

Suffice it to say, there are myriad examples of bands' pandering to fads in both music and theology. Our new album is submitted side by side with their more polished musical statements. THIS is a call to return to reliance upon the work of God in Jesus. THIS is a plea to Jesus to remember us. THIS is the only promise we can keep: the promise that we will cling to the cross of Christ because there is no other way.

God grant us such strength this Lenten season.

More next month,

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