Potato Country

March 11 - Idaho

by Lenny Hughes

We're taking a detour out of Idaho where we had a fine gig last night at the Paramount Theatre in beautiful downtown Idaho Falls. Today we're streaking across the plains for another spectacular night in West Wendover, Nevada. For some reason, we're drawn to the place...I've been there twice already; Lewis used to trash it in his act, he was so fond of the place even the residents refer to as "Bendover." We return to Idaho tomorrow to land in Boise.

And speaking of detours, I missed the last round of shows in southern California to return home for the funeral of my beloved niece Barbara Yuhas, who died February 28 after a long illness.

That last weekend in February, we did another Paramount Theatre, in Seattle. On the way up from Portland, we passed a slew of heavily armed military vehicles near a fort where Frank was stationed many years ago. Frank said they were engaging in "war games" from the facility.

War Games

Arriving at the Paramount, I took a shot of the majestic playhouse from the stage to give you an idea of Lewis and John's perspective. The show was great and the rain held off til Sunday, when I spent the day dodging constant showers with my friends Mayson and Dez before they headed out of town.

Paramount Stage View

I flew out next day and noticed an interesting shop in the Seattle-Tacoma airport, Planewear, which featured retro Pan-Am apparel and other flight-related souvenirs and clothes. The clerk told me it is a local operation, started by a woman in her garage, with outfits she created from airline seatbelts.


Space Needle

On Wednesday, I took off for Salt Lake City, taking a shot of the Kennedy Center from the plane. We were scheduled to gather in Utah, for some reason, before the trip to Idaho. After landing, I happened to run into Lewis outside the hotel, fresh in from the airport and resolving to have dinner at one of his favorite restaurants, which happens to be in Salt Lake City. (I began to wonder if that was the main reason we converged there.)

Kennedy Center

Salt Lake Aliens

Salt Lake Spaceship

Walter's was hopping, which is unusual for such a place on a Wednesday night. The titular owner greeted us at the door as effusively as he would have welcomed a pair of long-lost brothers. Sporting a distinctive shock of white hair and regaling us with a musically Italian accent, Walter is a remarkable host, skipping from table-to-table like a dancer, receiving as many compliments as he dishes out.

And the FOOD he dishes out...well, we ate too much. So delirious after dinner, I thought the artsy spaceship across the street might have been the real thing.

Next day, we struck out along the mountain ranges for Idaho Falls. Weather, as it was back East, was abundantly warm for this time of year. We passed the Idaho Potato Museum, which I pray we can visit next time we come out this way. We also drove through lava fields, a petrified swamp of black rocks and sagebrush.

Idaho Scenery

Idaho Lava

Idaho Falls is surprisingly small, considering it's billed as the second biggest city in the state.

I had time to sweep through an antiques mall across from the theater and found a couple nice vintage containers for my kitchen.

The theater is rather small, but the crowd was raucous and enthusiastic...they almost cleaned me out at the Merch table.

We pulled out of Idaho at 10 a.m. this morning, and at 12:45, we're about 10 minutes away from the Nevada line.

Bendover, here we come.