July 24, 2009

Where have I been?

What a Summer this has been! I've been all across the country, performed for groups as small as 30 and as large as 1200+. My travels have taken me to 5 different states, with completely varied climates and scenery.

On May 23rd I performed for the 44th time at Camp Lebanon, near Upsala, Minnesota. The crowd was excellent. "Bobber Bill", whom I refer to as my best publicist, got the crowd hyped for the show, and they remained hyped throughout the whole 50 minutes. The shows at Lebanon are ALWAYS fun, and never the same show twice (for Bill's benefit).

The beginning of June found me in Rockford, Illinois, performing for the National Junior Bible Quiz Championships. There were (I'm guessing) 30-50 teams from around the country, testing out their knowledge of Scripture. On opening night, I performed, and challenged them to remember that whether they "won" or "lost" the individual heats, they were all working toward the same goal: knowledge of the Bible. It was a fun trip.

I then headed to Nashville for 4 days to work with Harris III, and some magic props he was planning on selling. It was 90-95 outside, and even hotter inside the storage unit that I spent 2 days inside of. We got it all done, and were able to get some of the props into the hands of other performers around the country that could use them.

I drove right back to Braham, Minnesota, and performed, along with my son, Dale, for the retirees in Braham. It was a small room, with a small group of people, but they were so very grateful to have us come over and entertain/visit that one lady baked us one of her famous rhubarb pies. I LOVE rhubarb! After the show, Dale continued visiting and entertaining various folks for another 30 minutes with his antics. They liked me, they LOVED Dale.

The next day I performed another one of the Trout Lake Day Camp Finales that I've been doing over the Summer. A few have asked what these camps are, so I'll tell you.

Trout Lake has some staff go into churches, and they plan and run an entire 4 day vacation Bible school at the churches. Well, when the program director, James Rock (that's him above), and I were talking about the day camps, I had an idea: I don't have money to donate to Trout Lake Camp, but I CAN donate time and my abilities. So, Trout Lake asked if I would be the "Finale Night" entertainment, and I said, "Yes." I performed at 7 of them this Summer, at churches around Minnesota and Wisconsin. My final one last night was an unbelievable way to end the Summer day camp "tour". More about this in a minute.

The next day I performed for the VBS of my parent's church, House of Hope Lutheran in New Hope, MN. Even though there were a lot of kids there, I was really happy about how many "older" folks came out for the show and enjoyed it. I love when everyone in a church gets involved with the shows. Another great show.

The next day I did some strolling entertainment on my stilts at Valleyfair in Shakopee, MN., for a private party in the picnic area. Thanks to A Touch of Magic for sending me out on that gig. I look forward to more like that.

I flew out the next morning to Issaquah, Washington, for 3 days of performing at Eastridge Christian Assembly, nestled way up in the rolling hills just East of Seattle. I have to say, I cannot get enough time in the mountains to satisfy; they are incredible, and more so every time I see them. I was able to take an evening and visit my cousin, Brandon, who currently lives in the Seattle area too.

I flew back on Thursday morning and drove right to my first of two Trout Lake camps in that day, one in Maple Grove, MN., and another in Champlin, MN. (Yes, it was a very full day).

At the end of June I flew down to Missouri to participate in the filming of a tv commercial for Kansas City International Airport. Wanna see the commercial? Click HERE. I'm the one on the unicycle. Duh.

I quickly flew home and did another Trout Lake Day Camp, and then took off for Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to ride in a parade and to perform in the evening for Praise Fellowship. Another very full day.

In and amongst all of the other 1-day things I did throughout July, I did 3 more Trout Lake Day Camps, strolled on my stilts for 4 hours in Andover, MN., performed as Paul Bunyan (on my stilts) for the International Lions Club Convention in Minneapolis, and got a few good nights of sleep in between somewhere.

Tomorrow, Dale & I are are driving up to Garrison, MN, to ride in a parade, perform during a Sunday service, and do 2 shows under the "Big Top" tent during the Garrison Fun Days.

It has been a busy, and rewarding Summer for myself and my family.

Talk again soon.


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