Last June I set a new attendance record at the Topeka, KS library when 122 Fab Four fanatics attended a round of "Band of the Sixties". It broke a record that had stood for more than year. But Topeka's reign came to an end last night at the Louisville, KY library, which drew 167.
Finding the library proved the most difficult part of the whole evening. Somehow I had the address for a branch library rather than the main library, and I showed up promptly only to find out the real location was some miles East.
Once the error was discovered and (we thought) corrected, the GPS took us to yet another branch library. Strike two. I always try to arrive 45-60 minutes early to set up. By this point, it was 5:50 (start at 6:30).
Eventually we found our way to the downtown library, but of course parking anywhere in any downtown can be an exercise in futility. A giant sign with the words "PUBLIC PARKING" and an arrow pointing to the right lead us to another sign a few yards away which read "NO PARKING". Fine, we'll just pay for the meter. Turned out, the meter only charged until 6pm, and since we were half an hour late because we visited every OTHER library in the city, so we got to park for free.
As is often the case, the hard part was just getting started. Once a program gets off the ground, things typically go smoothly (except for the one time the fire alarm went off and we all had to evacuate the building - no joke).
Here's hoping the remaining stops on this tour are (1) easier to find, and (2) draw even bigger crowds. Topeka held the title for nine months. How long will Louisville hold it? It's a distinct possibility that the attendance record will be broken in May of this year when I speak at Abbey Road on the River - in Louisville!
Thursday, 10 March 2016, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Saline County Library, 1800 Smithers Dr, Benton, AR
The History of Rock 'n' Roll
This 60-minute multimedia presentation will trace the development of Rock 'n' Roll (as distinct from Rock of the 1960's) from its roots in the blues and country music, through its pinnacle in the mid 1950s, its abrupt decline in the late 50s, and conclude with its legacy and influence on musicians of subsequent decades. Artists discussed will include Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and others.
When our two sons moved into their college years and away from home, Polly and I figured we'd never be able to take vacations with the four of us together anymore. We'd have to rely on our memories and photographs of trips to places such as Dinosaur National Monument, the Rocky Mountains and Devil's Tower. But I was wrong, for once.
We all traveled to Estes Park, CO in June 2014 for a family reunion. In 2015, we reunited for a trip to visit relatives in Missouri. Both years, we and Aaron planned the journey so he could give Beatles talks along the way. That's twice in two years that we were able to gather together again -- a much better record than the Beatles, who once were facetiously offered $3,000 for a reunion on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s.
This year, Aaron and I are together for a great two and a-half week lecture tour from Kentucky to Arizona, and I'm happy to be part of it and that he wanted me to accompany him. I hear so much about people's children spending little time with them that I wasn't sure Aaron would be interested in yet several more weeks on the road together.
But I was wrong, for twice.