Tony Penultimate

A Day travelling through the American Midwest

And so goodbye Madison, Wisconsin, we had a great gig last night and saw many old friends, including Ellen Campbell who plays in a well known band locally called the Ukes Tones. However, we leave with our tail between our legs, as the quality of some of the cheese related puns during the show (Wisconsin is famous for its cheese) were pretty excruciating, I mean really:
Johnny. B Gouda, Please Cheese Me, Let it Brie, Emmental, Lake and Parmesan were some of the clangers. Once again we had terrific food backstage and were very well taken care of, hopefully I can lose a bit of weight if this carries on.
We are on day six of the tour and have done four gigs, I have meticulously repacked my case with my growing pile of dirty laundry.


There was no gig today just travel, as we made our way to Mason City, Iowa - I don't really know the midwest very well, the band have generally flown over it (during the last tour we did anyway). But this time we had to be there early as we have a gig and a workshop in a local school tomorrow. So I sat back in our (fairly comfortable) bus and watched the Wisconsin farmland give way to the undulating plains of Iowa. Mile after mile of corn silos and farms passed by, which I found quite interesting. The names of the towns have a kind of plaintive poetry as one watches the signs whizz by - Dodgeville, Cobb, Montford, Plattenville, Bloomington, Prairie du Chien, Bridgeport, Eastman, Marquette, Monona, Luana, Calmar, Marble Rock, Rudd........

I took pictures as we went by many of the farms before finally dozing off.......

We stopped at a place called Fennimore for a snack - I find american supermarkets interesting, the packaging is much more garish and colourful than in Europe.

Isn' t bacon pork? I don't get it!

Chewing tobacco seems to be quite popular around here, ther last time I saw a display like this was at Stockholm airport.....

The Ukes get a breath of fresh air before piling back onto the bus.

More farms

A homestead

We crossed the mightly Mississippi and I didnt have my phone ready in time to take a picture, so Rich kindly sent me a snap he took

This must be a grain processing plant..

After six hours we finally arrived in Mason City and several of us went out for some (Mexican) food - the guy, third left is our driver, Dave (he was born in Margate, Kent, nine miles from where I live!). It really is freezing here in Iowa, and I'm starting to miss home.




Kathy - Bix and Louis - what would I have given to hear them jam together (which they did once in Chicago apparently) Karin - thank you - I'll try to keep them coming. Ellen - I passed on it (as I did with the chewing tobacco!)
Thanks for The UkeTones shout out! Also remember: that mighty Mississippi brought Louis Armstrong to Davenport, Iowa where he met Bix Beiderbecke, & the rest is history.
So much interesting sharing your tour to all these different places in the U.S., thanks Peter.
The bacon-wrapped pork is a bit of overkill—a serving of a piece of grilled pork that is additionally wrapped in bacon (also pork). If you fancy admonishment from a cardiologist, it’s the meal for you.

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