Florida, etc.

April 10-Florida

by Lenny Hughes

It's been a long and winding road since we last chatted. Almost a month to the day.

We were headed to Wendover, Nevada, then up to Boise, Idaho.

On the way north, we crossed the Snake River Canyon, just upriver from the spot Evel Knievel chose for his disastrous Rocket-Cycle jump. Lewis perched perilously close to the edge for a photo-op. ("Back up just a few more steps, Lew.")

Lewis at the Snake River Canyon

Fuck off

I don't have any further pictures of the new canyon daredevil-not because he slipped off the edge, but-because I have a new operating system that takes hours to process photos, so it'll be awhile before I get a lot of shots to you.

After Boise and the show in the picturesque, vintage Egyptian Theater, we headed home for a short break before flying into a late snowstorm in Denver, Colorado. First stop was up the mountains (10,000 feet up, to be exact) to the snow-covered resort of Breckenridge.

Lew and John were provided an oxygen tank by the theater (and I compensated for the total lack of air by taking deep breaths and frequent rests, per Frank's instructions).

Show was great. Lewis does a fine impression of the hapless Ben Carson, complete with the former GOP candidate's blank expressions and meaningless hand-gestures.

Lewis' Ben Carson Impersonation

Next night, we hit Denver, and ended the weekend in Fort Collins. Got out of the state just in time. A nasty blizzard hit the next day, trapping Frank and the Bus temporarily on his way home for the big spring break.

So I've been off a couple weeks. Another reason you haven't heard from me. Did some important stuff: fixed a mini-robot for my 59-year-old nephew, resuscitated a Star Trek phaser I'd given up on months ago, bought a couple beautiful signed Ray Bradbury books, and did my taxes.

I'm really living the good life. Of course, numerous reruns of "Cheyenne" and "Have Gun-Will Travel" on the H&I channel were highlights.

Just as we did in Colorado, we got out of the northeast Friday just before another snowstorm, and headed to Florida for a slew of new shows and a massive shipment of new hoodies and bobbleheads.

Flew into Miami Beach from...wait a minute-isn't that a Beatles song?

Flew into Miami for our return to the Jackie Gleason Theatre, which has been swallowed up by the Live Nation production company and sadly renamed the Fillmore. (A bit nostalgic for me-that was one of the first theaters I visited with Lewis before I started the Merch Madness.)

We stayed at a Westin by the Causeway. From my window, I could see whales feeding close to the shore. James (who has been dubbed, "Google") discovered they were likely pilot whales, but John determined from the hotel employees that they were actually manatees.


Our beloved Springbrook friend Rick Redcay showed up Saturday morning and treated us to a fabulous lunch and brought us up to date on his Floridian doings, which included purchasing a centuries-old gong from Burma to add to his ever-growing collection of percussion instruments. After all these years, he's still a professional drummer and funny as ever.

Ben snapped a shot of the three of us posing in oncoming traffic outside the hotel.

Oncoming Traffic

That night, we were at the quaint old Capitol Theater in Clearwater. Could've used our old brilliant sound man, Jeff Costa, when the microphone went out during Lew's finale. After the second mic also failed, the undaunted theater techie brought out a third, and Lewis pretended that one was kaput, too, mouthing the first sentence silently as the crown went nuts.

This morning, we pulled out at 11 and shot across the state to Melbourne for tonight's performance.

We'll fly out of Orlando tomorrow.