January 8, 2005
Some of you have teased me that the last few newsletters have been shamefully written from some exotic place tropical or a cool place overseas. Well, you're right! But, not this time...
I am writing this one from a TA Truck Stop in Seymour, Indiana. Seymour is right in the middle of Indianapolis and Louisville on I-65. If you check a map, you'll find it (you might just have to look for a little while to see it). This is the town that John Cougar Mellancamp is from, the small town he sings about and where he still resides. It's Christmas Eve afternoon, I'm travelling alone, and I've been snowed in for two days and counting. This isn't the Virgin Islands. The good news is that I'll finally be on my way in a few hours. I gotta admit that it's been pretty frustrating. There's two feet of snow in a place that usually doesn't see much of it. The governor has declared this stretch a state of emergency, they have called in the national guard and twelve people have died from mother nature. Brutal.
It's amazing how life's events can change your point of view. A couple days ago, I was pretty stressed because I had to finish my Christmas shopping. We've all been there. Today, however, I'm just hoping to see the ones I love for the holidays and I'm grateful that I am safe and in good health.
There's a bunch of us stuck here at this stop from all different walks of life. Trust me, there's all kinds in this place. Somehow we have all bonded. At first, everyone was pretty stressed, controntational and anti-social. Within a couple of hours, people started talking and getting to know one another. Next thing you know, there's a bunch of laughter. At some point, you just gotta laugh.p>
I have seen more of the Christmas spirit at this truckstop and interstate then any shopping mall I have ever been to. Everyone is lending a hand to strangers despite the cold and wind. The staff here have been pulling 30 hour shifts to help the stranded. I'm certain they'd rather somewhere else then here pouring coffee and selling ice scrapers. My heart goes out to those who can't be with their family, especially those in the military half way around the world. These acts of kindness are what the season is all about. I've had to be reminded of that in a big way.
Someone asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It's hard for me to come up with anything because I feel that I have the greatest gifts anyone could ask for. I got to share this year with Roger, Biscuit, JC, Tony B and Trey. These are five of the nicest people you'll ever get a chance to meet. Our agency, Intrepid Artists (Rick, Jim, Derek, Michelle), have worked so hard for us and are a big part of why things have been going so well. There's our street team and its co-ordinators, Larry Gareau and Ed Akehurst, who are helping spread the word because they love the music. There's people like Band Mom and Dad, Mary Lane, Paul Snyder, Jamie Frey, Adam Musson, Dan Butler, Stephen Jensen, Tony Teti, Adele Akehurst, Monte Lorts, Sandy Gullick, Mama Jean/Papa Rickey, Jeff Komes, Bob Dooley, Jeri Hart, Captain Kirk, Miss Colorado, Brother Ken/Sista Jill, and Marc Norberg (and some obvious others that I just failed to mention - we love you too) who have put in countless hours to help us unselfishly.
We have the roadtrippers and road warriors who travel many miles to see the band. God bless you! Our superfan blues apostle, Lo, just attended his 172nd AGB performance last Saturday. We have Jim Carfield with his bootleg AGB swag gear. There's Mark and Debbie who donated a vintage 1968 Fender Jazzmaster guitar. We have John Adams who has donated a trailer to us so we can grow. Thanks go to Tracy for the good eats at Jacob Good's. There's so many people who come to the gigs and show their support without fail. We are especially grateful for the home cooked meals, brownies, cookies and baked goods. Thank you for the pictures. There's also Morty, Amy and Eli from 33rd Street. I have to give props to big brother Jim Peterik, Tom Hambridge, Mark Selby, Kelly Keagy and Bruce McCabe for sharing their incredible talents. As always, Mom and Dad.
I want to thank everyone for sharing their love with us. The road can be tough at times, but having you with us makes this the greatest blessing in the world. We promise to keep on giving you everything we got. I guess my Christmas wish is that you know how much we appreciate all the love you have given us. We're a family of thousands.
God Bless. See ya in '05.
Much Love, Anthony
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Photo by R.J. Bianchino copyright © 2002-2005 Moondog Productions
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