Notes from the Road – The Gas Hog Tour 2008 – Day 7, July 16th Well, today was a road dog, take you fate into your own hands kind of day – and well worth it. For starters, I went up to talk to the manager about the location of my show. Their choices were (a) next to the pool under the game room which has a little raised stage or (b) under a small pavilion on the other side of the recreation area where do they do the kids activities, etc. However, between those two was a large bricked area with seating and a fire pit, but no cover or shade – but, high exposure / traffic. I had noticed yesterday that just at 7 pm the sun dropped behind the ridgeline to the West and, consequently, shade was not an issue. And, the forecast was for clear skies, no rain in sight, so cover was not an issue either. Therefore. I pitched doing it out in the open on the big bricked patio area (about 2500 square feet or more) – they were hesitant, but relented under my persistence. That settled I went about promoting the show. I brought lots of extra blank posters and had wrote them as the “sundown concert TONIGHT!! 7 – 9 pm. I put those on all the restroom / shower buildings, on the walkways to the nature trail, etc – about 15 posters in all I’d guess. I also went ahead and set up my sound system, etc. midday so that it was visible and put additional posters on the speakers, etc. (I covered them with garbage bags, etc. just in case the forecast was wrong). Then, after I’d showered and gotten presentable. I walked the campground and approached anyone who was outside with one of the postcards that I removed from the front desk (I left some with the promise that they would attach them to the registration papers like the guys at Natural Bridge had done). I probably handed out 50 postcards, chatting with folks as I went, and ran into a dozen or so more who already had them from the front desk (they kept to their promise) and said they were looking forward to the show. So, would it make a difference? Oh man, did it ever! I had a terrific crowd – festival stage like – and it expanded and contracted as folks came and went given it’s high traffic location. I put a lot of energy into the performance and fed off the energy coming back from the audience. That’s a show I wish I’d recorded! CD sales were excellent as were the gratuities in my big plastic goblet I put out for that purpose. If all the shows were like this then this would clearly be a financial success. Maybe I can see a system developing here for these shows?! I met folks today from all over the country and one couple from the Netherlands who enthusiastically signed up on my mailing list and bought both CD’s and a DVD – everything I had. I also met two groups of folks from Florida and one from Orlando – in fact the young lady (probably 11) was clearly smitten, hung in for the whole show, went to her dad twice to get more tip money and signed up on my mailing list. As it turned out, she goes to the same elementary school that Tanner did near us on Edgewater Drive – the folks you meet on the road! Anyway, things could not have gone better and I thoroughly enjoyed the show, the people and the night. I’ve built a little campfire and am sitting beside it in the dark to type this – excuse any typos please. There are campfires dotted here and there throughout the grounds and you here distant laughter, kids playing, a bottle clinking here and there and the usual sounds of the night. I see couples here, and not always young couples – some look my age – with 4, 5, even 6 kids. The older kids are helping with the younger ones and the parents are herding the broods firmly, but gently. I envy them. I love kids, particularly babies and toddlers, but I was never a patient parent and, consequently I think I missed out on a lot of what these folks experience on trips like this. I can tell the sounds are dying out. People are heading off to bed or going inside to read, etc. I’ve freshened my drink (a little Dalmore – single malt Scotch, wonderful stuff and affordable) and I think I’ll sit here, watch the fire burn down and soak up the night. See you tomorrow.