Days 10-14 Kansas City & Beyond
I’m finally taking a breather to write. It’s 11:29pm and I’m still energized from tonight’s show on the hemp farm outside of Cedar Rapids. It’s been a great few days.
We came into Kansas City Monday night front loaded with the sickest 3rd base line seats to the Royals game. The energy there was palpable as this was the first game back without any attendance restrictions from Covid. It felt great to be cheering on the Royals amongst their most loyal of fans.
Joe West was 3rd base umpire, and he was continuing to celebrate his newly acquired league record for most games all time worked as an umpire. He pointed August out from the field to toss him a ball that went foul just before third base. During the seventh inning stretch, I got Joe to sign the ball. 5,380 games. Legend.
The Royals sent us home feeling victorious as our team for the evening dominated the Pirates 7-3. August was asleep before we arrived back at camp.
The next day was action packed as we had plans to head back to the city to dig into world famous Arthur Bryant’s BBQ and Visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The burnt ends, pulled pork, and ribs served us well. I was also a fan of the baked beans, which have to be really good to impress me, and their wet, mayo based cole slaw. We were fat and happy.
There is not enough to say about this museum. Carefully curated to take you on a well highlighted journey of the plight of the black man to be an equal part America’s Pastime, this museum brought me to tears by the end of my tour. From the early segregation, with the unwritten rule that black people were not allowed, the rule that few whites would wind up bucking, to the eventual celebration of their historical contributions to the game, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum points out the obvious and unacceptable manner in which black people were and continue to be treated because of the color of their skin. I left feeling pride for those who fought through such difficulties to be eventually celebrated. THEY were the pioneers.
To unwind from the heavy but eye opening museum experience, we got a coffee from a hip little trolley car cafe and headed for City Market. We came across an Italian deli that had imported mortadella, and though I was still stuffed from the BBQ, I managed to put down a half pound of mortadella as we walked through the market. After that, it was imperative that we find a public basketball court so Aug & I could get in a quick game of Horse followed by a little one on one. I needed to burn some calories.
As if we hadn’t done enough already, our next stop was to union station to walk a few thousand more steps before driving up north to meet up my old buddy, Outlaw Jim. Jim and I have been music making friends for well over a decade and it was great to see how wonderful he and his wife and children are doing. Our families had dinner together at their saloon before heading over to their house to let the kids run around on their 40 acre plot. Make sure and look up Outlaw Jim if you’re into country music. He’s the real deal.
I forget at which point we decided to stay at the campsite an extra day, but it was the best decision we could’ve made. The last two days had been non stop and to wake up and have to drive would’ve been a nightmare. We were in no real rush to get to Cedar Rapids as the show wasn’t until Friday, so a completely chill day at camp with no plans at all was in order.
We had a fire going all day and cooked all three meals at camp, taking breaks to nap in hammocks, read books, throw the football, and play Yahtzee. At one point, we took a ride through the state park for a less than thrilling drive, but thrilling wasn’t what we were after that day.
We all woke the next morning well rested for our drive to Cedar Rapids. The experiences of cheering on the Royals in their stadium for a big win, the action packed day of education, bbq, basketball, and visiting with friends we hadn’t seen in some time, and the ultimate chill day at camp made visiting the Kansas City area so worthwhile. It was nice to be able to just visit a town without having the focus of having to perform somewhere. These three days felt like vacation and we needed it.
Stay tuned for the blog about the hemp farm. I’m still digesting it.
Be good to yourselves and each other!