Aug 27, 2012

A Night on the Town...

The Tedeschi Trucks Band on Stage
Each year for the last twenty-some years I have attended Merlefest, a music festival honoring the late Merle Watson.  And each year, some individual or group whom I've never heard of absolutely dazzles me.  At this year's Merlefest, both Mary Ann and I were blown away by the Tedeschi Trucks Band, named for its founders, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.  This is a substantial (11 members on stage) bluesy band with a wonderful sound.  Susan and Derek are both world-class guitarists and Susan's clear and intense voice is perfect for the music that they perform.  And I kind of felt like a moron when I returned from Merlefest and all of my musician friends already knew of the individuals and the band.

A few weeks ago, I went to the Tedeschi Trucks Website to see if they had any new CDs.  I was very fortunate to hit their Website only a few minutes after tickets had gone on sale for a late summer tour starting on August 25th in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, only a couple hours' drive away from our home.  I jumped in and bought two seats.  They were in the center of the fourth row!  Then I called Mary Ann and told her we had a date!

We drove down to Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon and checked in to the motel.  I still have over 300,000 Hilton points from the years I worked for Gary Humphreys and lived in a hotel, so we were guests of the house.  We cleaned up and headed out for dinner, ending up at a very nice restaurant called Chuck's Fish.  After a really pleasant dinner, we headed for the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.

The concert was spectacular.  The opening act was the venerable B.B.King and his band.  They were the perfect warm up to get the crowd in a "bluesy" mood.  During the intermission, we met up with our friends Melissa Haydel and Manny Pimentel whom we know in Huntsville.  Then we returned to our seats for what to us was the "main event."  What a treat!  For the next two hours, we reveled in the Tedeschi Trucks sound.  It was wonderful.

After a good night's rest and a leisurely morning, we hit the road.  We decided to have brunch at a place recommended by the Urbanspoon Website.  Our destination: the Magic City Grille, a downtown haven of Soul Food, where we enjoyed (for the first time ever) the soulful combination of Fried Chicken and Waffles. As one reviewer put it, "If tastes good and is probably gonna kill you then they'll have it on the menu."

It was a great weekend.

Aug 12, 2012

Great Gift!

Mary Ann and I recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  She wanted to come up with a unique idea for a gift and she really outdid herself.  She knows how enamored I am with 1932 Plymouth automobiles.  These cars had an optional hood ornament in the shape of a "flying lady," a kind of angelic figure with wings and head thrown back proudly leading the car into the breeze.

A few weeks ago, Mary Ann expressed an interest in starting a radiator mascot collection and asked if I had a spare flying lady that she could have.  I informed her that the only one I had was going on the roadster, but I also agreed to keep my eyes open for a decent one on eBay or in some other advertising that I run across. I didn't know why she really wanted it.

She had seen an internet source for cellphone chargers in which an individual was using old airplane parts as the base for the chargers.  She got the inspiration of making a cellphone charger for me based on a Plymouth flying lady!  After looking for a few weeks, Mary Ann found one on eBay, probably not quite good enough to restore, and acquired it for this purpose.  She knew that a hole would have to be cut in it to accommodate the connector, so she didn't want to use a really perfect candidate.

Keeping everything a secret, she proceeded to take the mascot out to Dan Shady, who crafted a gorgeous walnut base and mounted the whole assembly.  Here's the result:

Thanks, Mary Ann.  I love you.  This gift was perfect!  It will occupy a place of honor on my desk.