On August 15 2011, author Bob Saar and Patrick Hazell, a character from Bob’s novel “In Memory of David’s Buick” headed down Route 66 in a sky-blue Buick Electra 225 convertible.
They hit 19 towns in 21 days, rolling through Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa.
It was hot; over 100 degrees every single day but the first day, when they met up with Mark Twain in Hannibal, Missouri…
Tour photographers Kirsti and Ken Strandberg lounge in the Buick with Richard Garey.
- Far Midwest Tour path 2011 began in Iowa and headed south on Route 66…
The Far Midwest Tour 2011
FAR MIDWEST TOUR blog, more or less…
Pat and I had a real swell time last night in Iowa City, when we did our first tour gig at Prairie Lights. Sometimes Pat read while I played, sometimes the other way around.
We’ll both be practicing our reading skills on the way to Hannibal today.
Someone said I looked nervous…
jeff weber says:
Bob, it was great seeing you guys at Prarie Lights. I really liked the chord progression on the Little Man song. Pat was great on the harp as always. The Zombie? Yeah! Thanks for the nice shout out, Jeff
Jeff, it was super to see you there, and sitting next to Buzz Dunnington no less!
Last night in Hannibal, MO, at The Wine Stoppe, was a blast. The Buick got a workout driving a load of women up to a haunted mansion. A lot of other things happened, too, but doggone it, we gotta hit the road for Springfield…
Hmm… I see that the note I left here about our gig at ABC Books in Springfield, MO, and our stay at the Walnut Street Inn are missing. Suffice to say, we had a swell drive down from Hannibal, a fun gig at ABC, where Lisa treated us like we were special, and some good times at Walnut Street.
Yesterday we drove down to Kingston, Arkansas, and up some back roads to where I lived in cabin in 1996 and wrote the first draft of David’s Buick. Rolled into Fayetteville for a show at Nightbird Books — Valerie is a super host — and spent the night with some couchsurfing.com friends, Dan and Laura. Good day, good feeling. Now we’re off to Tulsa.
Driving down to Tulsa yesterday was so hot — we heard it was 113 when we got to town — Pat and I jumped into a river for a swim. A reservoir, actually, the water was almost 90 degrees.
The show that night at Troubador’s Emporium in Broken Arrow was great fun, and we had some quality Tulsan musicians in the audience: David Berntson, Robbie Mack and Little Joe McLerran. Pat joins Little Joe tonight in OK City at the Bourbon Street Cafe.
The Buick continues to run like a champ…like Ryan McHenry.
We’re sitting in a bookstore, Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City, waiting for a string quartet to do their set in the next room. We were going to go on at 2pm, but so are they, so we’re chilling.
Pat did a gig with Little Joe McLerran last night in OKC, and then we all went to Jerry and Susan Putnam’s for the night. They have a swimming pool…
sounds like you’re keep’n cool!
As long as there’s a swimming pool or a river nearby, Bonnie…
Oklahoma City had 50 days in a row of 100 degrees or more, until yesterday, when it cooled off to 99. The heat has been keeping people at home, and that hasn’t helped us crowd-wise, but we have a lot of fun no matter how many don’t show up.
Tonight we’re at The Blue Door in OKC and very much looking forward to that.
The Buick continues to run well, and now even better, because I found a bad sparkplug — it’s been running a little ragged — and our gas mileage, which has averaged 13 on the interstates and 16 on two-laners, should take a big jump up.
Tomorrow we head into Texas for an evening gonzo shoot at the Cadillac Ranch.
Steve Rowley says:
Take a couple of deep breaths every now and then and wash your socks when needed. Everything will flow from that.
Your Moment of Zen O’May
Socks, O’May; be sure to wash your socks first.
Thursday, Tucumcari New Mexico: Last night’s debut of “Hornucopia” was a real blast.
We’re on standby here, waiting for the Buick to emerge from the shop up the street. It’s either good news, or bad news….
The Buick emerged triumphant and we headed up a beautiful backroad on our way to Santa Fe. A change in plans took us to Taos, where we are now, 7000 feet up into the cool air at last.
Tomorrow’s show at The Brodsky Bookshop looks to be a gem.
The Buick is happy…
The Taos show at Brodsky Bookshop was a high point in this tour. One of my favorite authors, John Nichols, was in the audience and having a great time. Thanks John!
Just finished a show at Collected Works in Santa Fe and now getting ready to go out for dinner with my friend Roseta Santiago, a great artist and wonderful spirit.
Tomorrow we have a long drive up to Colorado Springs, but the Buick is running quite well, so it should be a pretty good day on the road.
3380374 beers on the wall…
It takes all kinds…
Yesterday, Sunday, was nearly 400 miles from Santa Fe to Arvada, CO. Buick ran like a top, even at 8,000 feet. Pat and I are beginning to look like we witnessed a nuclear test from up close.
Did a short set at Poor Richard’s in Colorado Springs, where my niece Anna has just started college. She came down to the place — bookstore, coffeeshop, wine bar and command central for every laptop studier in town — and after that, Pat and drove up to his son Bill’s place in Arvada.
Today we’re in Golden at the Read, Write and Brew bookstore, 720 Golden Ridge Rd.
We’re getting a little weary of hissing espresso machines and rattling refrigerators and people with their noses in their notebooks, but we’re still having fun.
By the way, we’re also on a crusade to change the way America thinks in coffee joints: don’t order steamed milk while live music is in progress. We began this crusade at Collected Works in Santa Fe, where it is standard policy to keep the coffee bar quiet during booksignings.
We like that.
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Well, gosh, okay then.
Last night at Oskar Blues was a real treat. Four of my high school friends from Iowa were there, plus a good number of people who know Pat from seeing him play around the midwest. Good fun; everyone had a good time. Dave McIntyre was an excellent host, and his staff at OB are all pleasant and helpful and friendly. Good stuff.
We left Lyons this morning and drove across a hell of a lot of Nebraska. Tomorrow we return to Iowa, and an evening gig at a winery outside of Shenandoah.
Then on Friday, we’re in East Village in Des Moines.
We drove into Kansas for one mile just so Pat could play a couple of notes on his carharp and I could say, as we crossed back into Nebraska, “We’re not in Kansas anymore. I know it’s lame but we had to do it.
Today was another hot one, and we had to drive a long ways to get to Kearney. The gig there wasn’t anything to write home about…or to relate here, for that matter.
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This about wraps it up.
We split up with Ken and Kirsti in Grand Island; they continued on to Des Moines because it was the end of the month, and they have online work that needs attention, so they’ll find a trailer park or a Walmart and hang out in their video van until the Des Moines gig.
Pat and I stayed in Grand Island that night. The first motel was a roachpit, complete with ugly prostitutes, so we found another one that had a terrible restaurant-bar.
The gig in Shenandoah looked dismal when we arrived, but it turned out to be the best one of the whole tour.