I’ve just returned from a long weekend in Northern California. I recounted the highlights to my little friend and classmate Sandy Northrop Jones, who’s also a writer, and she suggested I post my descriptions. So here ya go:

We just got back Tuesday from our long weekend in N. California.  Goal since last February was a concert in Novato (near Napa) with Bill Kirchen and as many of the living Lost Planet Airmen he could round up. 

And what kind of car is that in the backround? Could it be a Hot Rod Lincoln He got 3 LPA (there are 5): Dr. John Tichy – lead singer and rhythm guitar, the man who introduced the Commander to old country music while they were both washing dishes in a frat house – who’s made a career as a professor of engineering – at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy NY, head of department of Mechanical Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering for a while, with an emphasis on fluid dynamics (fluid dynamics were a big part of every CCLPA concert!), assembling a stellar academic career that still continues  And his sons formed a rockabilly band -the Lustre Kings – with whom he plays.  Then there’s Andy Stein – or Android E. Stein as his bandmates call him on stage – on sax and fiddle.  After CC&hLPA broke up, he’s had a rich career in NYC playing classical and old jazz.  He had a 10 year gig in “Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band”, the house band on Prairie Home Companion.  Finally, there’s Buffalo Bruce Barlow on bass and backing vocals.  He got his name for his long blonde tresses, which he still has, a little.  The concert was outside at Hop Monk Tavern (great beer!).  The sold-out crowd had to wait in the rain a little, but it was well worth it.  Closest thing to a gen-you-wine CC concert since the whole crew came to the Ark in Ann Arbor 1/11-12/01 as part of their “Not Dead Yet” tour, conducted in the 25th anniversary year of their breakup.

While out there, we spent some time with Kathy’s little brother Jimmy (6’6″), his wife and 3 teen kids, oldest of whom is a sophomore bananna slug at UC Santa Cruz, plus Kathy’s older brother Bob, who’s living out there as his dementia has progressed to where he can’t live independently.  Finally, I looked up an old buddy from St. Louis, Dave.  We were residents together at Barnes.  He’s a tall drink of water from Texarkana and when younger could pass for Clint Eastwood.  He’s doing boutique primary care in Petaluma, his life enlivened by a saucy Ukranian girlfriend and a group of like-minded misfits who convene every Friday at 5:31 PM in the back room of the hardware store one of them owns.  Kathy and I got to attend, sample the Indian food and various intoxicants, and get accepted by the group, even getting our own bird names.

The Commander sings that “Too Much Fun” is unattainable, but I think I came close.  I’ve been spending most of these first days home in bed. That’s that fast California life style for ya. I can’t wait to get back there again.

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

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