Sweet Honey From A Honey Bee

I owe you the end of the story.

Fact is, our twenty-four hours in Des Moines constitute a long, wonderful story. We had a ball, and — from the Arts Festival to KFMG to People’s to the Walsmith’s to the Authentic Records brunch — wrung out every last bit of awesomeness the city had to offer.

Somehow, though, it all crystalized for me in an instant Authentic Records photographer Mandy Miller captured so well.

I had travelled some 1500 miles before nine a.m., and had already performed. My general pre-show jitters had given way to an IPA-fueled ear-to-ear smile. Dusk had passed into night. The air had turned cool and crisp. I had cameo’d with the fellas on “Where I’m Going,” the recipient of a fresh dose of adrenaline. Abbi and I were downstage, just below Mike’s toe-tappin’ Chuck Taylors. Jason had just finished the chorus to “The River.”

I’m goin’ down to the river
I’m gonna shake and shiver
I’m gonna roll in the water
I’m gonna take your daughter

Mike was just beginning his square dance caller routine, when suddenly, behind us — just over the river — the most unexpectedly excellent, colorful, wonderful fireworks began to soar through the inky blackness and burst overhead.

I looked up to my friends in front of their 2000 rowdy, raucous, fans, and then looked up to those amazing fireworks, and then looked over to my beautiful fiance and said, “It can’t possibly get any better than this.”

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