Lionel Young, violin/guitar/vocals
Jay Forrest, drums/vocals
Kim Stone, bass
Andre Mali, trumpet
Dexter Payne, Sax/harp
Ricardo Pena, keys/guitar/vocals (not on the road trip part, is flying in and out, so he won’t make an appearance until the third act: “Memphis”)
Honey Sepeda, cook/problem-solver/distraction/den mother
ACT ONE: “Kansas”
After a four-hour unscheduled detour involving a faulty tire on the rental van, we are now headed through the center of Kansas. It’s almost 8:00 p.m., Saturday, January 29, 2011. It’s dark in the van, and Kim’s watching a movie, while Lionel is driving and trying to talk to me while I’m trying to write to you. Andre, of course, remains the saint of patience and is interceding on my behalf, sitting in the passenger seat, chatting with Lionel about music so I can work on this blogging business. Jay and Dexter are in Jay’s car just behind us. It’s already been an adventure, and we’re but nine hours into the journey.
While temporarily stalled at a truck stop right at the entrance to Prairie Dog Town, between Colby and Oakley, Kansas, Jay pulled me aside and walked me a short way to show me, off in the distance, the world’s largest prairie dog. Well, just the head, but I saw it! No one else bothered. I guess not everyone is into fine art.