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  May 11th, 2004 - Cowbop plays the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Woke up, got out of Joplin and crossed the state line of Kansas at Galena. On a four lane (rare divided part of 66) I swerved to avoid a turtle crossing the road...(I can hear you now, is this a joke?). When I told Pammy the reason for the maneuver, she demanded I go back to save the thing. Well, by the time we U-ed across the median, it had made it to the inner shoulder headed for the tall grass in the median. Dan got out to pick him up and return him to the pond on the right side of the road upon Pammy's insistence that was where he wanted to go, Her reasoning: that's where she'd want to be if she were a turtle. For the record, I'm glad she ain't a turtle. I'll bet the turtle was thinking: "great, now I gotta cross another four lanes to get where I was going, and what are the odds now?" You be the judge. Crossed an old concrete arch bridge, the last one on the old route, I think it was called the Spring River Bridge, built in the 20s, and met an interesting artisan, Duane Lee. He makes peach pit figurines, mostly animals, hens with little eggs under the nest, cats, of course: turtles, sells him off the back fo his truck. He's also a banjo picker with an unusual invention: the pan-jo. He's taken an aluminum pan, set a 2 x2 for a neck with primitive frets, and adorned the back with peach pit decor in a sunflower pattern. It sounded good too. We jammed a few tunes, I tried my hand at it then Cow Bop headed our way to Tulsa.

Checked into a really funky hotel with our very last dough, I mean this hotel is so bad the bugs clip coupons of bug spray and leave them in the mail slot. Naturally we were in a hurry to get to the gig, and as I write this we are stalling at some new friends' houses, Rick and Terry Bentley, also great musicians (this town is filthy with em)delaying the inevitable. These beers ought to cushion the blow. I am being unsociable here writing away on their computer, but hell, want to get this down before the beers do their job and I forget everything.

Back to the gig, Tulsa is one musical town. They had a huge article about us, written by John Wooley, (the authority on western swing) it's probably online at: Headline: "Spontaneous Cow Bop 'Hubbing It' down to Tulsa" We held a JazzMasters Workshop and had some talented kids and a few interested adults. It is a great place for the program, let's hope we can hook this up. We went by Cain's Ballroom, home of Bob Wills Band for a long time, it has been restored, would love to get a crack at the Carnegie Hall of Western Swing. As it was, we played a gig at the OK Jazz Hall of Fame, a great venue and had an enthusiatic crowd. We were lucky to have Shelby Eicher sit in, an incredible fiddle player, man he swung us into bad health, then Earl Clark played alto, another swinger in the first degree. Man, I tried to talk them into coming along for the rest of the trip, I'm sure Clementine could handle it, but alas, some people just ain't into starving and hardship. They just want everything pre-programmed and predictable, actually, don't sound half-bad.

We're glad to have been here, hoping to make it to OK City tomorrow, the jazz lab at OCU said we could play if we did, wish us luck...and don't let the bedbugs bite...ouch!

Quote of day: "If they ain't got it yet, they ain't goin get it." Rick Bentley, about the stuff we left in our room at the no-tell motel, we decided to stay at his house...Pammy did the beer.

Click here to check out pictures from May 11th