I have been terribly
busy these past couple of months, culminating this past weekend with the Trinity Prep re-union in Sioux City, Iowa. The re-union was coordinated by Dan Klein from the Class of '67 (thanks, Dan!) for all of the school's graduates who cared to attend, and nearly fifty of us did. We had pizza on Friday night in one of the buildings at Trinity Heights, which grew up on of the rubble of the Trinity Prep buildings once they'd been torn down. On Saturday we had chicken and ribs catered in at the same facility. One of the evenings we got our class pictures taken, those of us who showed up. Most of us were staying at the Quality Inn near the intersection of Hamilton Boulevard and I-29.
My classmates Doc Abbick and Dean Schechinger had played guitars and sang together during the hootenanny phase of our high school years, and Doc thought it would be a great idea if they could do some singing again during the re-union. He asked Dan Klein if there would be a room available at the hotel for just such a use. Somehow Doc and Dean got booked for Saturday night in the lounge at our hotel.
Somehow I invigled myelf an invitation to play bass for Doc and Dean; and Doc recruited his son, Chuck, a real musician, to play keyboards with us and give us some class.
Upon a Friday last month, Dean drove four hours from his home in Omaha for rehearsal at Doc's house outside Junction City, Kansas. Upon the same Friday, I drove eleven hours from Fairwater. We rehearsed for three hours on Friday night and for nine hours on Saturday, and ended up preparing about forty songs in four sets. Then, on Sunday, the vagabond musicians drove home. Chuck, being the real musician, would come up to speed during our sound check at the hotel lounge before Show Time.
We did set up our gear on Saturday afternoon, and did our sound check, and found that Chuck knew the songs and knew how to kick them off and wrap them up and how to lay in the bridge here and to take a ride there, and how to lay down an A-minor ninth at the end of "House of the Rising Sun" that would make them cry.
Chuck stayed to watch the equipment in the lounge while the other three of us went out to Trinity Heights for some chicken and ribs and some comradery with our classmates. What a wonderful get-together. I hadn't seen most of those fellows in forty-two years!
And then it was Show Time - 9 p.m. on Saturday night. We had rehearsed four sets, but didn't know if we would need four sets. What if nobody showed up? What if everybody who showed up walked out sometime during the first set? What if we got heckled?
Well, about 9:05 p.m. in came all those Trinity Prep fellows, and some of their adventuresome wives. And about 9:06 p.m. Doc and the Boys kicked off the first song and it sounded pretty good. The audience started stomping and hooting and hollering. We rolled into four or five of those old folk-songs that Doc and Dean used to sing, and an old Hank Williams' tune, and so on. We wrapped up the first set with a rousing version of "Sioux City Sue."
People were still stomping and hooting and hollering as we tied up that Sioux City girl with the ol' lasso and got her branded. And we took a break. A short break, because we didn't want to lose the audience. We kicked off the second set with "Kansas City," and everybody was still stomping.
And they kept stomping and hooting and hollering through all four sets. We played every song we had prepared, ending with "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" about 12:45 a.m., I suppose. The last note of the last line of the last song died away and we said thanks and good night. People lingered to talk as we took down the equipment and got it loaded. Then Doc and the Boys went out for some breakfast.
We had to rate the evening a success.