Off the Air

A collection of press clippings, special projects or appearances including Garrison Keillor.

Summer Love in Knoxville, TN

September 9, 2010

PHC staffer Ella Schovanec is on the Summer Love tour with Garrison, Sara Watkins, Fred Newman and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and will update us periodically from the road.

The production staff left Monday evening, just as the Minnesota State Fair was closing down after it's twelve day run. The crew packed the equipment into the bays of our bus while the carnies on the Mighty Midway put stuffed animals into clear plastic bags, and vendors sold their last corn dogs and mini donuts, and cleaned their poppers and fryers of all that heady grease. We were off, out of St. Paul by midnight, and we immediately tore into the snacks our lovely logistics manager, Deb Beck, packed for us and played "Would you rather..." for an hour or so. Would you rather bang your shin really really hard once or get a strong electrical shock every time you touched a doorknob for a day? After learning some things about each other that we never knew before (Production Assistant Noah Smith would stay in bed all day to avoid the doorknob shock) we crawled into our sleeping berths, feet first so we don't break our necks if the bus suddenly stops, and tried to get some rest.

The little beds are quite comfortable, but it's also too thrilling to sleep well, hearing the bus wheels thrum along on the ridges of asphalt as we move closer to our city. I woke up at ten in the morning somewhere between Indianapolis and Louisville with cornfields on one side and soybeans on the other. We made good time, we only got stuck in traffic once, on the Ohio River Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky, and we were happy reach solid ground in Knoxville, the cradle of country music and the home of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and the towering gold Sunsphere from the 1982 World's Fair.

Earlier this evening, we performed a show from the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. Robin and Linda Williams joined us and added a touch of southern gospel to the night. The crowd was fantastic, Knoxvillians are about the nicest people you'll ever meet and we're sorry to leave them, but the bus awaits. Tomorrow, we'll report from Salem, Virginia.

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