Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 5: The End Is Near

It's the morning of day 6...the day to return home.  At some point in the next couple of days I'll do one more entry with some pictures of our trip home today, as I anticipate some interesting opportunities given the current state of the choir...they look something like the walking dead.

But for now back to Day 5.  First, Patrick once again put together a clinic for healthy eating.  He believes this is the best idea ever.  It's a breakfast sandwich consisting of waffle quarters for the bread and egg and cheese in the middle.  Of course, after he finished it he had yogurt and a banana (and there was no evidence of the waffle).  Note to self: ask the bus driver if he remembered the defibrillator paddles...

They're getting tired.  Let me get this straight.  You can't sleep two guys in one bed, but this is ok?  For the record, Patrick, Jonathan and I were in one room for this trip, and all three of us managed to sleep in a bed all week long.  Come on, guys...

At our first concert (where they did in fact know we were coming and we were actually on time), there was a little freelancing.  Kelsey (who you can't see in this picture) started her last solo with a little riff from Alabama (if you gotta play in Texas).  It was amusing.  Also, I see some irony in a picture were Tex is playing an African drum.  Just unexpected I think.  Also at this concert, since it was for kids, we replaced two of the slower songs with audience participation a la Vacation Bible School (form the orange, the pizza man).  Permanent change.  I'll always do that from now on.

More family!  It's great to see so many people coming to hear us sing.  This is Madeleine  with her uncle.

Because today's drive is so long, we're going to have to have a relief driver when we get to Georgia.  That costs a couple hundred bucks.  Carolyn suggested we could save the money if they'd just let her drive.  Of course you can't drive a bus without the proper accessories, so she borrowed Patrick's hat to complete the ensemble.

When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, and peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars.  This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius....  (or perhaps: O say, can you see my eyes if you can then my hair's too short...)

We went to my alma mater, Centenary College.  While there, we celebrated Carolyn's birthday and Theresa's.  Our treat of choice was Strawn's pie.  Strawberry, peach, and coconut.  It's the best pie I've ever eaten.  Sorry mom, it's true.  Just so tasty!  Really if you're ever in Shreveport, get some of this pie.

My friend Dave took us across campus and told us a little about the college and the choir.  The kids enjoyed (I think) finding Lisa and me in pictures around the room. It was one more stroll down amnesia lane for me.  Pictures of the choir at Hodges Gardens (below).  Pictures of the choir in the White House.  Finding my name on the "branding board" where everyone signs when they graduate. 

I don't think Olivia was feeling her best yesterday.  She slept a bit on the bus, and she decided to sit out last concert out.  At least it looks like she's enjoying the concert...

Our final concert was at Live Oak, another compound for people a variety of ages (like CC Young).  You could see and hear the fatigue in the choir, but the concert was nevertheless solid.  It was bittersweet singing our last concert as this choir, and I was almost already missing our seniors.

Of course the kids did what they do best...

After the concert we went up to the church where it all started: North Highlands UMC.  I showed the youth where I started in church music ministry and told them the story of how I came to realize that this was what I wanted to do.  We drove around the back, and I showed them the little LITTLE music suite.  Then we checked into the hotel and headed to Monjuni's for dinner.  It was time for our Thursday night banquet, senior night.

In addition to honoring the seniors, we also took a moment to thank Wesley for driving us this week.  We gave him a tshirt as well as a little collection that we took up (and, of course, a thank you note!).

I gave the seniors a tshirt from the 6th floor museum.  It serves multiple purposes.  First, I hope it will remind them of us.  I hope it will remind them of the grassy knoll and of course the rest of their time with us.  But it's also good advice for graduates.  This is a time for boldness and energy.  As they go on to the next phase of life, I hope they will attack it with boldness and energy.  Below, Marshall models the shirt.

We did a few other things for senior night as well.  The seniors got on the bus and were allowed to use the bus microphone (student singers are NEVER allowed to do this).  They can say whatever they would like...or they can choose to say nothing.  Then I asked them to bring their tshirts to our devotional, and we all signed them.

Unfortunately, the guys didn't smile enough to keep Boudreaux.  Beth awarded both mascots to girls yesterday.  Congratulations to Anna and Kelsey!  Also, notice Kelsey's shirt.  It says "Tour de John 2012."  Three of the girls came in to dinner wearing handmade "tour de john" shirts in honor of the event.  Thanks, guys!

The bus will be around in a few minutes, and we'll be headed home.  Some mandatory quiet time on the bus this morning, and perhaps the Indian Jones marathon.  Not sure yet.  See y'all soon!

~ Captain Cuatro


  1. Thanks for all your great posts, and for a wonderful experience for the choir. We are looking forward to seeing the bus pull in at DFUMC! Tom H

  2. John, 5:55 AM and you're posting another wonderful blog?! Have you slept since last Sat nt? ( But believe me, we appreciate it! We have been eagerly checking for new posts morning and evening.) Hope kids will let you sleep on the bus today. And thank you for bringing us along on such a fun and inspirational trip! I think I had at least as much fun as Olivia, although her props were much better!

  3. John and company, We have finally figured out how to send this post from Italy without getting lost in translation. Ha! Ha! We have enjoyed the blog so much and feel so good that Alex and Kate were a part of so many wonderful, crazy, memories. Once again, you have managed to put to heart the real meaning of Music Mission. Music is the great communicator and through this choir you have brought God to everyone it touched from the kids singing to the kids listening (old and young). Thank you for yet another great Music Mission adventure (which I hope to rejoin next year).