HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Friday, November 7, 2008


In 1980 I land a new booking agent working out of small town in eastern Wisconsin. The first gig he sends me to is a week's stand at a Holiday Inn in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, where the bar manager takes an instant dislike to me and my show. By wednesday night, however, I am starting to fill the lounge with returnees who have brought friends.

After I finish the evening on wednesday, he calls me into his office and fires me. I immediately get on the horn to my agent, who since he got me the gig, has moved to Jackson, Wyoming.

He says not to worry, that he can land me a gig for the weekend at a ski lodge at the base of the Tetons that will cover my air flight plus more.

He meets me at the airport and as we are driving toward Jackson Hole, while I am observing the first elk I have ever seen in the wild, he informs me that his room mate (with whom he is not getting along) is dealing cocaine. He also tells me that this guy carries a pistol, has a very angry german shepherd, and sleeps most of the day, so I should do my best to "steer clear" of him for the weekend.

These are disturbing facts that I wish he had told me on the telephone before I booked my flight out!

So I tiptoe into the house with the agent to my room, unpack my bag and lock the bed room door.

The next morning, cognizant of the fact that I have to be down town Jackson, ready to perform at 7:30PM, I stay in my room and listen carefully for activity in the house, fully expecting arguments and gun battles.

The agent makes no attempt to talk to me! I count the sound of two departures through doors slamming and cars starting. Then I venture out slowly and quietly, fearing that at any moment I will have a german shepherd ripping out my throat.

I breathe more easily when I realize that Mr. Drug Dealer has taken the dog with him in the truck. Seizing my window of opportunity, not knowing when there will be a return, I quickly shower, grab my guitar, and escape, seeking out the ski lodge I am to be working.

I find it, talk to the management, leave my guitar, and take a walking tour of Jackson Hole. I piddle away the late afternoon, return to my workplace and prepare to work.

The gig goes really well and I walk back to the hoouse, again making a silent entry. This time I can hear the dog growling but fortunately for me, he is locked in his master's bed room.

Saturday, the routine repeats itself. While I am waiting to go on, my agent stops in and we visit for a while, planning out my "escape" to the airport on sunday morning.

As they had on friday night, the bar crew has the television turned on to the winter olympics. It turns out to be a great moment in American sports history as the American hockey team is up against the Russians.

As the game proceeds and the excitement builds, the bar manager tells me I can knock off for the rest of the night as patrons want to watch the game. (I DO, TOO!) So I get my paycheck and watch hockey and as you may remember (if you were around in 1980) we won! There was much celebration after the game and I didn't get much sleep before my agent drove my out to catch my plane.

That was the last time I worked for that agent!


David Letterman's Top Ten New Revelations About Sarah Palin

10. Thinks Fox New may still declare her and John McCain winners.

9. At her wedding instead of saying I Do said "You betcha!"

8. She and Goveernor Schwarzenegger once exchanged swimsuit posing tips.

7. Prepared for gampaign by watching "Legally Blonde Two".

6. Thinks NAFTA means "Need another fifty thousand for accessories."

5. Begins every day by reading a passage from the hilarious "Late Show Fun Facts" book (available everywhere).

4. She's a person of interest in five unsolved snow mobile hit and runs.

3. Abused position as governor to get free appetizers at Anchorage Appleby's.

2. Already has a new job as Brief Case Babe Number 12 on "Deal or No Deal".

1. Her secret service code name was "huh?".


My email of today:

Dear Mr. Solomonese:

My wife and I watched the news in disbelief as Californians passed Proposition 8. After this nation took a step forward with the election of Senator Obama as president, it is obvious that deeply rooted prejudices live on in this country. We wish you well in your fight and I wanted you to know that on this day there are fellow Americans who stand with you and sympathsize!

Larry Heagle
Fall Creek, Wisconsin

"I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix."
-Dan Quayle -


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