Wisconsin was wonderful, as usual. It had been very hot but it subsided a bit when we got to Racine. My kids went frolicking in Lake Michigan and I went with them but it was a bit too cold for me. They loved having those little waves to jump into. We went to DeMark's bar and had meatball bombers and played shuffleboard. They just celebrated their 100th anniversary and gave us T-shirts for free. The back was a cowboy hat and the name "Rocky" inside it for my infamous cousin Rocky DeMark the gambler and owner of the bar who always wore a red cowboy hat (he was country before country was cool). I learned that it actually became a bar in the 1930s because my grandfather ran it as a grocery store until then. My dad and his siblings lived upstairs, all nine of them.
The gig at the barn was very cool. People picnicking outside on the surreal green lawn. The barn had hay bales and people could bring in chairs and drinks. It was low-key but had a functional stage, lights and sound. A great crowd of over 100 came and then seemed to respond well to my writing. I enjoyed it immensely.
You can do whatever you feel like with my note to you. The thing about that barn gig was I real all Wis. stuff except for one story. The stories and one poem included one about tiny Tim playing at the Trempeleau Hotel on the Mississippi, one about my grandma in Antigo (how when she worked at a department store called Krum's the janitor would dress up in drag and she would play a toy xylophone as he pranced around the store for the townspeople---this happened when the owners left town and went on for 6-7 years), the Willie Overstreet Story in Racine (how he almost blew up a gas station [Ed Note: Clark gas station] and then I went on to relating Madison stories. So it was a Bermuda Triangle of Wisconsin stories.
Then we went way up north past Eagle River for our family reunion and that was perfect. Fishing off the dock for blue gills, swimming, drinking , talking to each other. My son Jesse caught a 12 inch large moth bass, by far the biggest fish and he was thrilled (me too). We went back to Racine for a night and there was a celebration of my dad's last living sibling, Theresa who lives in Phoenix. She is 9-0 and full of life still. I got to see a bunch of my cousins and talk with them as we all get older, too. They are all such god, down to earth, honest people.
Anyway, that's the report.