I feel as though I was away for a week. I got home from work on Thursday a little after noon and Ernie and the boys weren’t even home yet. So much for being all ready and packed. I wanted to be irritated but I was frazzled from a crazy morning at work so I just did my stuff and sat down on the couch and watched Ernie get his stuff ready and the boys squabble over who had more room in the toy suitcase. We took off and I realized I hadn’t eaten lunch or breakfast so we stopped at a McDonald’s in Gibson City. Bad idea. Owen asked for some fries and I really should have checked what else he’d eaten that day beyond the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and apple I had given him. Turns out there were many previous courses…. He complained about no ketchup on his fries but ate them and then was cranky the rest of the drive. Just as we got within a few miles of our exit off of 55 he started crying and said, "I think I’m going to throw up." Of course they had decided to sit in the far back seat of the van so I couldn’t reach him or hand him anything. It was amazing. I swear to God he vomited at least half his bodyweight and that’s saying something. Ernie wanted to just keep driving because we were so close to our exit. Yes, he wanted to just keep driving with a vomit covered, sobbing five year old and a seven year old who was yelling and trying to move as far away as possible. unh-uh. So we pulled off to the side and attempted to swab down the whole van. ugh. We finally got back on our way and out of the back of the van Leo volunteered, "maybe he should have had ketchup on his fries."
Anyway, we got to Eileen’s house with cicadas swirling all around us. It’s like a resort for us—EIleen has no idea. Owen just kept saying, "gee, I wish we had a house like this" and it reminded me of how magical I thought my grandparents’ house was.
Ate dinner and got a little time to see Connie, John and the girls. Neither Ernie or I come from large or extended families and spending time with the Kelly family always makes us feel part of a larger family. The older I get the more I realize how valuable that is.
So we finally trundled off to the House of Blues (and kudos to Eileen’s friend Kathy for being a wonderful babysitter and a kind friend). As we were walking in the door we heard someone yell "Ernie" and Eileen and I just rolled our eyes because we can never go anyplace without someone recognizing Ernie. Do Eileen and I ever run into people? nope. Ernie is a recognizable figure to say the least. We stood there waiting and then Eileen commented that the guy looked familiar and I looked at him again and said, "oh my god—that’s Joe Losurdo." He’s a friend that Ernie had worked with for many years at the Second Hand Tunes in Hyde Park. It was wonderful to see him and his wife, Chris (and I hope I got her name right because I liked her SO much). Listening to the cadence of Joe’s voice brought me right back to..hell, I don’t know…15 years ago I guess. Talking with them made the evening even more special.
So….Ian. Ian was wonderful. Ian was everything I wanted. I managed to work my way up to being just a few people away from in front of him and he just looked absolutely beautiful. Truly. Just hearing his voice, his lyrics and his intonations, makes me SO happy. It just connects to something in me. Joe said he wanted to hear more Mott the Hoople but I’m probably a bigger fan of Ian’s solo work when it comes right down to it so I was supremely happy. And frankly, I’d be just fine if I never heard All The Young Dudes again. It’s great and I like it and all….but I much prefer Ian’s own songs really. It was great to hear Saturday Gigs though—one of my Mott favorites. I love the new songs however (off the Shrunken Heads cd)—they stood up to his older work and the whole set felt totally cohesive which is somewhat surprising given that I’ve only heard the new record a few times. The songs are strong and very memorable to my ears though. I really like When the World Was Round and like it more each time I hear it. Ian. Ian. Ian.
It was a great 24 hours away. So thanks Eileen and Maybelle, thanks Connie, John, Kelly, Mia and Sophie, thanks Kathy, thanks Joe and Chris. Thanks Ian. You made my heart light.