HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER" TURNS INTO WEEKEND LOVE FEST

Neitheer John nor I were expecting the outpouring of love that we experienced in the weekend performances of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". It became apparent that something special was going on, when, on Saturday night at the Heyde, well before curtain, I was accosted by an old, old friend from my college years, Bill Mehls, who couldn't get a ticket, as they were sold out and some 40 people were milling about hoping to get "no shows".

Figuring I had some influence since we had sold out two days before the performance, I slipped bill in through a side entrance and found him an empty seat.

Saturday night's show had a palpable electricity to it. The audience was with us at every turn. it was also made even more special as in attendance were our aunts Lucille and Gertrude - the Wetzel side of the family had arranged a gathering a couple of hours before show time to honor Lucille, who this year turns 98 years old, and Gertrude, show is turning 87! They are the oldest and the youngest of the Wetzel girls and the families gathered in a side room at the Heyde to catered supper and plenty of Heyde supplied beverages.

After getting some rest, we began preparations in ernest for the two performances at the Mabel Tainter Theatre in Menomonie. Both the 2PM performance and the 7PM performance sold out well in advance and again, the response to the show was overwhelming to John and me.

We took a break after the matinee and joined some of the [people who had attended the afternoon show at Jake's on the Lake for an early supper before returning for the evening show.

The evening performance also went very well with the addition of two camera men filming the entire show for a soon to be released DVD.

Monday morning we were up and at 'em with a trip to the White Pine Rehabilitation Center outside of Fall Creek, where we got to see Wisoncisn wild life up close as White Pine takes in wild animals that have been injured or abandoned by their parents when very young.
(I will write a separate blot, with pictures, on that adventure).

Finally, Kim and I (Kim really -- I was conked out in the back seat, exhausted) tok Fr. John up to the Minneapolis airport to catch his early evening flight back to Oregon.

We want to thank everyone who came out to see the show for making it such a memorable occasion!


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