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  10/9/05 - Collinsville (near St. Louis)

We made it out of Springfield, was though though, the people there were so nice. Then we fell in with yet another group of perfect pals…how can everyone be so nice?! After a swingin breakfast at the Ariston Café, one of the first on 66, we traveled a couple of different road configurations (very well marked, thanks Palo Patty) to Edwardsville, before detouring to Collinsville and our date with a catsup bottle. Now, not just any catsup bottle, the biggest (and probably the tallest, widest, heaviest and reddest) catsup bottle in the world. Mike and Judy, our hosts, took such good care and are so nice that we just didn’t know what to do except cow bop them, play a rtune that a local composed for the giant jug, take the on a condimental journey, relishing every moment, swingin their buns off, and ketching up on old times. We played a concert under the jar, then moved to the Oatman House, a historical landmark on Main St. These people (and we are so lucky to have them) care about the historical legacy of the town, our country and not only preserve the best of what we as a culture have to offer, but continue to make sure that it stays alive, and will grow and prosper through the coming generations. It is so much like the mission of JazzMasters, and it reminds me why we chose route 66 in the first place. Folks, there’s a world of great people, places and experiences out here, and much better in virtual reality—that is without the screen—including all 50 + feet of a jar of sauce. I can’t wait to find out what is lurking, the next Cow Bopportunity!

It’ll be early though, we have a date with the jazz band at JFK High School on the other side of St. Louis, so an early lobby call is gonna cut this entry a bit short, and let’s face it, that’s some kind of dedication, playing jazz at 8 am! If the kids can do it, so can we…swing on!

A gentle reminder: We are doing this to support JazzMasters Workshop, a no charge music-mentoring programs for kids. Please consider a per mile pledge, we’d appreciate it. You can do it right from this site! Thanks.