Kate’s band played a gig Sunday, providing entertainment at a rest stop on the Tour de Ford, a bike tour/fundraiser for indigent patient care in the Henry Ford Health Systems.
I immediately dashed off a note to my old pal, hospital administrator Dr. Frank Byrne, thanking the entire health-care industry for all they do to help struggling kid bands get that all-important experience. Po is down to a power trio now, following the resignation of their vocalist, but they still sound pretty tight, and even though the other band on the bill was more of a crowd-pleaser, with their classics-heavy repertoire, Po got showmanship points for being pretty girls, and for not having to read their lyrics off a music stand. (Hey, I’d have had to read the lyrics to Cole Porter tunes, approximately the same interval of composition-to-performance as it is for a kid of today to sing “Sunshine of Your Love.”)
But perhaps the greatest thrill came at the end, when most of the cyclists had already rolled through, eaten their bananas and apples, refilled their CamelBaks and headed out for the next leg. An old woman who lives nearby tottered up and demanded that we TURN IT DOWN. You’re not really a rokker until someone tells you to turn it down. She stayed for a good half hour, bitching at a security guard about how THIS HOSPITAL IS TERRIBLE FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD, etc. To which I can only speak from experience: One, if you think an operating hospital is bad for your neighborhood, try a shuttered one, and two, obviously she was lonely and wanted someone to talk to. Poor old angry lady. Someday she’s going to be glad there’s an ER across the street.
So. Horrible-busy day, and I’m thinking we should do some tasty bloggage and dash — the equivalent of a piece of toast on the run for breakfast. Soooo…
With apologies to your aviation fans out there, I have never understood air shows. I guess it takes all kinds, but the thought of craning my neck for a few hours to watch pilots do loop-de-loops has always seemed downright boring. (You are free to have the same opinion about watching horses jump fences.) The more modern air shows, which amp up the thrills with dangerous stunts and gimmicks like extreme low-altitude “racing” — you’d have to walk me there with a loaded shotgun at my back. And here’s why. That is all.
This was a hard story to read, about the new poor. It’s hard not to believe this is the twisted root of something, and it ain’t the Tea Party and it ain’t whatever else you might think it is:
It’s hard to find some of the poorest residents in Pembroke, Ill. They live in places like the tree-shaded gravel road where the Bargy family’s dust-smudged trailer is wedged in the soil, flanked by overgrown grass.
By the official numbers, Pembroke’s 3,000 residents are among the poorest in the region, but the problem may be worse. The mayor believes as many as 2,000 people were uncounted, living far off the paths that census workers trod.
The staples that make up the town square are gone: No post office, no supermarket, no pharmacy, no barber shop or gas station. School doors are shuttered. The police officers were all laid off, a meat processing plant closed. In many places, light switches don’t work, and water faucets run dry. Residents let their garbage smolder on their lawn because there’s no truck to take it away; many homes are burned out.
A new populist revolt? I don’t see why not.
But let our hearts be light on this Monday in the still-fair month of September. Was it Moe who nominated the story about Gordon Ramsey’s porn dwarf double dying in a badger den as best headline ever? This may well top it.
Ugh, I’m growing to despise Mondays. I hope yours is tol’rable.