And I can’t wait to get back on the road again…The life I love is making music with my friends.”
We’re at it again. Here’s Dan playing in Cherbourg, France. Abby is figuring out how to rent a car in rural Mexico. And yesterday, Rich and I flew to Chicago, grabbed a car and drove north to Oshkosh (b’gosh) to take Bud out for an A&W chili dog and root beer. That was after he took one look at his rehab dinner-“hamburger hash over rice”-and announced, “Ah! Another culinary triumph, I see!” with barely a post-stroke lisp. Actually, the food there is mostly pretty good but escaping for some fast food is a treat for him. He’s making great progress and simultaneously starting to ogle women, ala Artie Johnson. It’s funny but it’s not, you know?
Once we got past Milwaukee and made the turn off for Fond Du Lac we passed my new favorite stretch of American highway: the windmills. This is beautiful country side, rolling green farms to the left and the right- a reminder that the entire world is not a sweltering, shimmering landscape of La Cucaracha Grande. Here, for several miles there are giant (I mean, BIG ass) windmills for as far as the eye can see. They are a little eerie, in that War of the Worlds way, but very impressive.Oshkosh itself is a lovely town and we drove Bud around a bit, admiring Lake Winnebago. At 11 miles wide and 28 miles long, it is one of the largest manmade lakes. Apparently, in the beginning, the loggers decided it would be just plain easier to flood the whole valley to move wood and they did.
We’re staying at a Hilton Garden Inn right smack next to the EAA Airventure field, billed as the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. During that week in July the small regional airport becomes the busiest in the world, with planes landing and taking off every 22 seconds for five days. This modest hotel is booked eight years in advance for that extravaganza but at the moment they are hosting Country USA, Oshkosh’s other big claim to fame, aside from overalls. Willie Nelson is blaring in the elevators and there are cowboy hats bobbing about in the bar, but that’s about all we’re going to see of that. This year, Oshkosh has one other limelight event that, coincidentally, they are sharing with our old neighborhood in Chicago. Public Enemies, opening soon and starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, was filmed one block over from us at the original Biograph Theater and then, here in Oshkosh. Oshkosh is getting ready for a big premier tomorrow, a few days ahead of the rest of the country. I’ll see it this week and maybe write a review and also a little about my family’s most infamous relative, Harry Pierpont. He was my grandmother’s cousin. Figures.
I’ll have time to post again once we get back in Chicago, with four days (hopefully relaxing for me, while Rich works, works, works) at a nice hotel. I plan to read, write, knit, walk and ride the Ferris Wheel- something I never got around to when we lived there.
Finally- that very cool sax player up front? Driving past the Oshkosh world headquarters last evening, I remembered this photo from when he modeled for Oshkosh children’s wear as a tot. Ever wistful, always special. That’s my boy.