Close To Home

by Lenny Hughes

Richmond, York, Wilmington-November 23

Ahhh...we're heading home for the holiday.

Someone tweeted Lewis onstage (which you can now do from, and asked his opinion of making people work during Thanksgiving.

"No! People shouldn't have to sell stuff on the holidays. How much crap do you people have to buy?!" he shouted, becoming slightly manic.

"Thanksgiving is a time you should stay home, get drunk and fight with your family!"

I think that was in Richmond-the first stop on our weekend tour. We had a little fright when we converged on the Richmond CenterStage: crews were digging up the street because of a water-main break, and the performance was close to being cancelled. But the show must go on, and the workers prevailed, so we pulled it off with no further hitch.

It's nice to play close to home sometimes. I went to the train station Thursday, and was greeted on the platform by James, our tech guy, who'd ridden down from New York.

Next day, we took our bus up to York, Pennsylvania, for the show at the Strand arts center. York is an attractive old place-the theater is one of those fine old vaudeville houses, with a classic, slate-gray facade. The town is filled with stately old brick edifices, and one or two dating back to the Eighteenth Century.

My favorite spot is the York Emporium-a funky old book store housing a slew of dealers, a smattering of antiques, and eclectic décor (including a cleverly appointed bathroom, inhabited by gargoyles and other quirky knickknacks).

Lew's parents came to the show from Baltimore, and left right afterward, so I didn't get to see them, but they'll likely be in Atlantic City where we'll play in a couple of weeks.

From York, next day, we rode through Amish country and the Brandywine Valley (Wyeth land), to Wilmington, Delaware, which calls itself "The Place to Be Somebody"--a promising slogan for the identity-challenged. Turns out, it was also "the place to BE," since the Grand Opera House was sold out, and Lew and John gave them their money's worth.

We hauled out of there around midnight, back to Secaucus, where we said our good-byes and holiday good wills-Lew and James to New York, John to Connecticut, Ben to California, and Frank (who hasn't had a break in a couple months) to his home in Canada.

(Maybe I should've spent the night in Wilmington, since my train just passed there, some 12 hours after we pulled out last night-but it's always fun to be with the boys on the bus.)

Home til sometime next week, when we return to the Borgata.

Happy Thanksgiving!