Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 USA Tour : March 22nd, Tulsa OK

GhastRoad to Tulsa

This is the first of several long freeway drives over the next 5 days so we set off early as today was one of our longest drives of the tour.

It was a beautiful flat plain view sunrise through an a bitterly cold Texan air but it did not take long for the day to warm up into what we feel is quite summery. Barely a cloud in the sky until we reached Tulsa, and even then it was just a slight haze.

Scenically this was not the most exciting drive. Austin to Dallas seem to be a constant continuation of modern enterprises and the endless selection of franchised, mainly food, chains we see all over the USA. The roads were billboard heaven, lots of them all along the journey screaming for attention from passers by. We were highly amused by one advertising “Exotic Jerky available 24 hours” that popped up every few miles until we got to a small log cabin store that sold many unusual flavours of beef jerky and was open 24 hours as chewing jerky is a favourite feast of truckers, one of their ways of staying awake at the wheel.

We were also amused by a ranch called “Fat Chance” and later down the road a ranch called “Slim Chance”. It turned out these were ranches of two Chance brothers.

We pulled into the rest area just before Dallas for a rest, a brunch and preparation for the anticipated complex Dallas road system ahead. There was wi-fi in the rest stop, so we also had a quick online catch up.

In a cubicle in the gents it was interesting to hear the conversation outside. Slim was there! Well someone called “Slim”, talking to a guy called “Bubba”. Fascinating to catch the local Texan dialect. As I came out of the cubicle there was Slim and Bubba in traditional bib and brace overalls and hunting hats. If that was Slim Chance, then he’s a much bigger man than me, but I suspect there are many Slims and Bubba’s in Texas.

Denver was indeed a complex road system snaking us right through its downtown area and beyond into the north. I was so relieved it was not rush hour and our trusty Sat Nav machine led us through.

Another surprise, well not so much a surprise as we had followed weather forecasts, was the amount of drifted snow on the sides of the roads and across the landscapes, despite this being a very warm day now.

Another stop on the way was at the “Welcome to Oklahoma” rest area for coffee and snack then through a bit more interesting wooded hilly, slightly North Carolinish landscape onto Tulsa, arriving in good time just after 4:30 pm after an 8:00 am start for driving.

Concert at the GAST Center

This was a dream concert. The venue, the feel of it, the acoustics, and then the wonderful warm audience.

Add to that the incredible team work and joint support of the GAST (German American Society of Tulsa) and the Tulsa Harp Society

The icing on the cake was the music support of Anam Cronan, who are Dana Fitzgerald Maher and Melissa Schiavonne. These musicians and singers together are stunning angels and I wish we could have had them accompany our entire tour. These people and their music are so special and so fitting within what we do live. Dana really put this entire event together.

Claire performed on top form including one of the best performances of Brigid’s Song I have ever heard her do.

About 60 people turned up. Good size really, and they enjoyed the refreshments and chat after the show. It was also wonderful to hear the stories from some of the German origin folk there. One fascinating story was a man who demonstrated how his last name, an Anglo Saxon name, became converted to quite a common name in Co. Sligo, Rogers.

Good to see some Facebook friends there too.



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