Well the day has come, and we survived our trip to Cleveland. I say "survived" because it was, indeed, a rather late night for the younger folk. It was game night in Cleveland, and I don't know that my kids have ever experienced anything like the activity that surrounds the ball field during and after a game -- not inside the ballpark, mind you, but the ancillary buzz and revelry that is part of the rare warm Cleveland evening when the lights are on the field.
We joined my friend G who had arrived much earlier and was still one of only a handful of souls at Wilberts. We ordered a couple of bites and a beverage and chatted for a long while as my natives became increasingly restless. It wasn't until past 10 p.m. that the game was over (Cleveland won!) and the fireworks began. It was a heckuva show, and no point trying to hear bluegrass over that, especially since most of the band had gone to the game.
What my daughter was least used to was the loud party buzz that spilled into the previously quiet venue. She's not used to obnoxious Cleveland sportsdrunks. Most of them just wandered in off the street after the game to use the necessary and weren't interested in paying a $12 cover to hear a banjo virtuoso. So we hearty fans stood our ground. Once the music started my daughter and I found a seat right up front and enjoyed the rest of the show with a big smile on our faces. Tony and his banjo double played Bill Monroe's Roanoke which actually made her giggle.
The longest part of the night was spent on a stretch of I-271 that was practically stopped dead with the return of spring construction in Ohio. No one expects to see this kind of traffic at midnight, but it took us an hour to go 2 miles. Thank goodness my son kept me awake with his cosmic questions. And we all seem to be no worse for wear this morning.
I couldn't find a recording of Tony playing Roanoke, but the band did play this sweet tune from the Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectactular recording, which by the way features a swell lineup of talent from Earl Scruggs to Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Alison Brown, and Tony Rice. It's called Escher's Waltz and I hope it puts a happy banjo lilt into whatever you do today.