HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Friday, October 31, 2008

YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE FRIENDS

Earler this week I took time to drive up to Superior, Wisconsin, to spend a little time with my friend Tom Johnson, who with the help of mutual friend Scott Sutherland, is repainting his folks homestead. The three of us, after a breakfast at Perkins overlooking the bay, drove out to the cemetery to visit the remains of our good friend, Gerald Fitzgerald, a man who touched all three of our lives very deeply during his brief stay of 49 years on this earth. I hadn't been up to Superior in sometime and to stand over Gerald's foot stone with his two best friends was very moving and emotional. I can say without a doubt that Gerald was also my very best friend of a life time and as I stood there on the wind swept hill, my head was filled with a rush of all the incredible memories that Gerald and I shared.

We had fished and camped together many many times, cross country skiied, hung out at The Anchor and drank ourselves silly on Leinenkugel beer, cooked together, played catch together, and spent countless hours on the long distance telephone, laughing until we wet our pants!

"Scooter" was, like Mr. Tom Johnson, an excellent writer, and when I produced my first album, I was honored when he wrote the liner notes for the record.
I enjoyed just being around both Scott and Tom as they are both very intelligent , insightful men. Scott, like me, spent years in the "trenches" teaching public school, and finally could take it no more -- hmmmmmm -- sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I'm proud to say that we put away the entire 16 inch pie and there was much discussion about how I hould open a pizza parlour of my own and that I could make millions. I thought about it for about as long as it took to type this sentence.
It was with a very grateful heart that I started for home on Highway 53 South after rolling out a sausage, jalepeno-stuffed green olive, home made Italian sausage pizza, on a bed of wonderfully pungent provolone cheese, which I made especially for Tom and Scott, "the working boys" who had toiled all day, patching trim and painting ceilings.

Also, as I drove home, I thought about how very lucky I am to hve two more really good friends waiting for me at this end of the road.

First, there is the irascible Mr. Douglas Scott Cox, here pictured stuffed into my take on a New York Giants helmet. Talk about a big head! The helmet is an XL and he still had a hell of a time removing it from his dome!

I love Dougie like a brother as we have done too many shows on the Kjer stage to remember and I have talked about him on this blog many times before.

Sadly, as he has a house in San Francisco as well as Eau Claire, Wisconsin, he will have "flew the coop" as we say here in 'Sconsin, back to the cold and damp of a somewhat warmer clime for the duration of winter. I am heartened only in knowing that when the wether warms, he will return!

And finally, as I drove, my thoughts turned to my life mate and companion, Kim, without whom I wouldn't even be on the face of the earth, I am certain.

She loves me so much that last night she agreed to go all the way to the Durand Rod and Gun Club for the last of the Jack Harmon Chicken Dinners for the season -- allowing me to keep a perfect attendance record.

The cool part is that we got there at 6:45 and they were seating #302. We had 462 and 463. then suddenly, the man in charge slipped up next to us and asked if we would like to be seated early as he had two seats he needed to fill! If we had had to wait our turn we probably wouldn't have gotten home in time to see The Daily Show!

I love Kim Wilson!

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