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  May 10th, 2004 - Cowbop follows old Route 66 and passes through Joplin, MO

Today was the Cow Bop world tour. We started in Cuba, stopped in Lebanon and Carthage before circling the wagon for the night. Cuba was a tiny, quiet, little town, I had to stop Mike from smuggling out any cigars. Stopped to take a picture of a roadside Peonie, they grow like weeds here, it drives Pammy nuts, she can't get the things to grow in Centra Coast CA to save her thumb. The one on the picture page was just sitting by some old RR tracks...yikes! Followed old route 66, it crisscrosses I-44 pretty much the whole way through central MO. Found out that almost 8,000 people checked out the site on, thanks to all of you, I'll try and keep this interesting without lying, might be tough.

Went to Devil's Elbow, at time it was one of the biggest rock cutouts in America (I think it was before Elvis). It was a quiet little place on the Big (or Little, I don't exactly recall) Piney River, and we headed down to the boat launch but were discouraged by a sign that was rather explicit about what happens to trespassers...which was any vehicle not towing a boat. I recollect that getting shot was the best choice of all their offerings. They also had a sign (see pix) that let us know they weren't interested in a band either. No live music? Kinda reminds me of Carmel.

I guess the warm and generous outpouring (and overpouring) at the start of our trip was a bit extraordinary, and in fact, we are down to our last bit of dough, (Mom, send money!). Ah just jokin, sort of. We tried to find some good spots to play, but frankly, there weren't any on this stretch. (In my experience, the day after Mother's Day is always a tough day for begging)

We stopped in a Ford dealership in Lebanon, caught em by surprise. I think at first they thought we were Candid Camera or something, but when they saw Clementine, they appeared to believe me. I think that's what that open-mouthed, glassy-eyed look was conveying. (Hard to tell with these calm and stoic Midwesterners). In fact, I think they were stunned, "let's face it, it ain't everyday that a car dealer is rendered speechless" (yes folks, there's your quote of the day). We did a few tunes including an interesting western swing version of happy birthday and they contributed to our trek (thanks Quality Ford). As we were leaving I dropped a hint: "They said if anything went wrong that I should take Clemenetine into any dealer and they'd take care of it. Well," I said, leaving a dramatic pause here while they squirmed, "everything is great, the only thing wrong is that she's dirty." Well they just stared. I guess I'll have to be a little less subtle in the future, at least in this part of Missouri. All you other dealers, wash out, we're coming!

In Carthage, Pammy looked up some relatives on her dad's side that she hadn't seen or spoken with in almost three decades (not counting the Nixon years), and we went to see her grandma's old house. It was getting late and we had to press on, and I mean 'had' to, Cozy Dog was hungry and sneaking up on roadside statues again, like before breakfast, (see pix).

We are gonna try to do some street playing tomorrow to try and build up our cash reserves, (hope it ain't against the law around here, although there are a lot of bail bonds ads, so more than likely, everything is illegal) Hope to make Tulsa tomorrow night where we can play at the OK Music Hall of Fame...if we can get that far...looks promising right now. Tulsa, the capitol of Western Swing: The Canes Ballroom, Bob Wills Boulevard! Bruce-o-lini calls a rehearsal to a chorus of groans from the troops. Also, we are going to try and scare up a workshop and give Tulsa a taste of JazzMasters' hospitality. Get those kids a swingin...that's what we're talkin about.

Gotta go, early wake up call, rehearsal and all, stay tuned.

Click here to check out pictures from May 10th