Category Archives: Memory Monday

Memory Monday – The Gun That Wouldn’t Go Off

Not very often do sports and theatre mix… but attending two track meets in the last week reminded me of a funny theatre memory.

The town I grew up in has a very active community theatre. I started to become involved in it the Summer between 3rd and 4th grade. It was cool to have something to do and be a part of something with a wide variety of people. There were farmers, teachers, salesmen, kids… folks from all walks of life.

So, why did attending a couple track meets remind me of being a part of this diverse group? Well, at each event there were a few times that the starter’s gun didn’t work. He pulled the trigger and nothing happened. The runners were called off, he fiddled with it, and they tried again.

Each misfire took me back to one particular theatrical performance. I think the show was either Guys and Dolls or Hello Dolly.  There was a scene where a scuffle took place onstage and a cop would appear center stage at the top of a set of stairs and fire a fake gun to get everyone’s attention.

One performance, the gun didn’t go off! The actor pulled the trigger. Click. Click. Nothing. The actor, a Pastor in real life, did the best he could. He pulled the trigger twice again saying, “Bang! Bang!”

Everyone did their best to keep their composure and the show continued on… but when it was over that misfire had us all laughing backstage.  It was that moment that gave the Pastor a new nickname. After that night, Bang Bang just seemed to fit.

Where you ever in a performance that had a moment that didn’t go exactly as planned?

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Memory Monday – The Steve Miller Band

Lately, I’ve been enjoying a new podcast from a blogger friend of mine from Canada. His name is Stacey and you can check out his blog site… and his podcast, Stacey Robinsmith Is A Dad In The Burbs.

In episode 8 he spends a few minutes talking about the Steve Miller Band concert that he went to recently.  Hearing his account brought back my own Steve Miller Band concert experience.

It was April of 1996. My wife, who was my fiancee at the time, and I had really good seats to see The Steve Miller Band at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, IA. Back then, it was the go-to venue for all the best concerts.

The show started off really slow. We didn’t recognize any of the songs. Then Steve mentioned that they were taking some time to play some of their new tunes. The crowd wasn’t rude… but they really weren’t that receptive either. They wanted to hear the hits.

By the time they broke for an intermission, my wife and I were really bored and hoping the 2nd part of the show would be better. I figured it had to be because we were more than an hour in and had yet to hear any of the songs that put them on the rock n’ roll map.

Being in a college town, there were several Iowa State college students sitting right in front of us. They were just as bored as we were. “This sucks, man. We should leave and hit up some parties,” said one of them. His buddies agreed and they were gone.

What they didn’t know is that they left minutes before The Steve Miller Band took the stage for a second set that was basically a live version of their greatest hits. The Joker, Jungle Love, Space Cowboy… they didn’t leave a single hit out.

The crowd, that was sleepy in the first half, was up, dancing in the aisles, and singing along.

On the drive home, my wife and I both remarked how disappointed those college kids would be if they knew what they missed out on.

Have you ever been to a concert that started out slow but finished strong?

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Memory Monday – Track Season

Our family life revolves around the seasons. No, not the typical spring, summer, winter, and fall.  In our house, the seasons are based on the activities our daughters are involved in.

There are the different sports seasons, dance team season, dance competition season, musical season, etc.  Sometimes the seasons overlap… and they can be different for each of my daughters.

My youngest daughter has recently entered into a new season for her; track season.  It’s one she’s been looking forward to for awhile.

Her excitement for getting out, running, and looking forward to her very first track meet got me thinking about my own time running track in high school.

I went out for track all four years in high school.  I wasn’t very fast but I enjoyed practicing, competing, and being part of the team. One thing that made track fun was that for 3 of the 4 years a cousin of mine was on the team too. He’s also the one that created “wave baseball” with me.

Both of us did high hurdles so we spent part of each practice working on that. He was shorter than me but was faster and better at hurdles. Even so, I still had fun trying to get better… and helping my cousin get better too.

One practice early in the season my senior year we made a challenge between each other to see who could make it through the season the longest without drinking pop.  We both are competitive people so it was no surprise that we both made it the entire season.

Do you have any track memories?

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