Washington Road Trip Journal
"Goin' on a Field Trip"
Days 10-12 - Kennewick, WA & Dayton, WA
by David "Sumoflam" Kravetz
September 6, 2007: Kennewick is one of three cities in south central Washington known as the Tri-Cities area. Along with Pasco and Richland it borders the Columbia River. We were very fortunate to stay both the nights of the 5th and the 6th in the Clover Island Inn hotel which is actually built on an island in the river between the old "Blue Bridge" (actual name is the Pioneer Memorial Bridge - built in 1951 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002) and the newer Ed Hendler Bridge (Pasco-Kennewick Bridge - a large and beautiful cable-stayed suspension bridge) in Kennewick. This section of the Columbia River was first explored by Lewis and Clark in October 1805 when they arrived at the junction of the Snake River and the Columbia River. (On our way to Dayton on Sept. 7, we actually crossed over this junction on US 12 near Sacajawewa State Park).
Clover Island Inn at left with the Pasco-Kennewick Bridge in the background
The "Blue Bridge" - downriver from the Clover Island Inn
As I had mentioned in yesterday's entry, the reason for our visit to Kennewick was for a Trailer Park Troubadours show, which would be held in the parking lot at the Clover Island Inn, in between the bridge and the hotel...an absolutely awesome setting for a show. This show would benefit the Mid-Columbia Reading Foundation. The story of how I was able to book this gig for the Troubs is pretty interesting. I had booked the two nights of shows at the Columbia County Fair in Dayton and, using my marketing head, decided to find all those in Washington that had purchased the Trailercana CD over the last few months. I sent personalized emails to each person. One of those happened to be Kennewick attorney Tim Anderson of Hames, Anderson and Whitlow. Tim had heard the Troubs' "I Was Just Flipped Off By A Silver-Haired Old Lady" on an interview in May on NPR's All Things Considered. He then purchased the CD. It turns out that Tim is a member of a local band, called Highland Drive, that performs throughout the Tri-Cities and donates all proceeds to charities. Band members include 2 teachers, a firefighter, a retired police chief and an industrial hygienist. Mark Harden, the Managing Director of the Reading Foundation, is the retired policeman and the one who worked on the show as well. We had dinner with members of the band last night. In the course of their performances, and with Tim's prodding, they picked up "Living in Aluminum" as part of their repertoire and now are also currently learning Antsy's compositions "Cubic Zirconium in the Rough" and "Primer Grey Impala" as new additions to their repertoire. True Flamingoheads!! The hope was to have them open for the Troubs and perform Living in Aluminum, but since our show was on a Thursday night and one of the members was a football coach, they couldn't do it.
Well, our day started very early on this beautiful Thursday. I had to drag the band members up at 3:15 AM to get us over to KVEW-TV in Kennewick for an early morning appearance on the ABC affiliate's Good Morning Northwest show with anchors Shannon Cartier, Kevin Uretsky, and weather anchor Keely Lindquist. Shannon had worked with me for a couple of weeks to arrange this 2 hour visit.
Shannon, Kevin and Keely of Good Morning Northwest
(photos from KVEW-TV)
We had a good time in the studio as Antsy, Bobby Cochran, Matt Hall and Joe Rayhbuck performed three songs, did some interviews and other things. ( I am awaiting a DVD of the 2 hours and will add some clips from the show once they are available ). It was a learning experience for me to be in the back rooms of the production and work with the sound guys. They obviously have a lot of fun in the mornings.
After the morning show, we returned back to the hotel and crashed. We were all zonked. Antsy and Bobby had arrived late from Spokane, where they met John Rook and his son for dinner (see Day 9 for more on John Rook). So, we all got some rest to prep for the evening show...with sound check at 4 PM. (see poster advertising the show below)
Warm ups for the show took place and we got ready to perform. Things went fairly smoothly, but all of us were somewhat disappointed in the turnout. All in all there were only between 90 and 100 people that came to the show, though we had hoped for more than 300. But, it turns out that some key people were there. The owner of a large variety western wear, hardware and ranch supply store, called Ranch & Home was in attendance and has offered to sponsor a show in March 2008 and it too will be a benefit show for the Reading Foundation. We are more confident in the success of this show.
September 7, 2007: The next morning we went over to Ranch and Home and perused the huge store. It is alot of fun!! Bill, the owner of Ranch & Home, then took us all out to breakfast at a place called the Sage Port Grille, which was kind of a mix between a Biker Bar/Cafe and an old seafarer's eatery. The food was great and the atmosphere was very interesting. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera, but this was one of those Sumoflamesque restaurants...you know, the eclectic theme type places. I will have my camera with me the next time I go!!
Sage Port Grille in Kennewick - a cool place to eat!!
After our breakfast, we were then off to Dayton, WA. This would be a one-hour drive from Kennewick through apple orchards and wine vineyards on US-12. It was actually quite a scenic drive. I had a van full of musical equipment...amps, drums, guitars, bass guitar, etc., as well as all of the Troubs Merch and other things. Solomon did an excellent job of repacking the van to make everything fit.
We got to Dayton in plenty of time and arrived at our motel...the Blue Mountain Motel... This motel was not nearly as nice as where we stayed the last two nights, but admittedly, it had everything we needed...a bed, a shower, a fridge, a microwave and wireless internet access. The accommodations really weren't too bad.
Of course, the purpose of our trip to Dayton was for two night's of performances at the Columbia County Fair. I was excited as this was the first Trailer Park Troubadours gig I had ever booked. It all came about as a result of communication with country-rock singer Patti Hall, who has been a fan of the Troubs for a number of years and is also a dedicated Airstream owner...with two of them!! Through Patti I was able to contact the people associated with the entertainment (Janet and Robert Phinney from Dayton) of the fair, who actually knew about the Trailer Park Troubadours!! It all went well from there and we had two shows booked in this quaint small hamlet in SE Washington state.
L - Country/Rock Sensation Patti Hall R - Patti's Airstream on her ranch in Montana (with flamingo lights!!)
The county fair in Dayton was really quite a small affair. People did come from the surrounding towns and counties, but this fair offered no midway rides and was much smaller than I had anticipated. But it was fun. The big events were the motocross and our shows. The first night's show went well, with the Troubs band backing Patti up (along with her keyboard player, Jay Kenney and backing vocalist Dean Backholm). The highlight of the night for all of us was getting an Elephant Ear, something that the Columbia County Fair is famous for. We had anticipated a large piece of fry bread. Boy were we all shocked when we saw the real thing!!!
L-Sumoflam and Patti Hall before the show (photo courtesy of Bobby Cochran) R-Robert Phinney and a Dayton Elephant Ear
September 8, 2007: After a fun, but cold night, and a good dinner at Woody's Bar and Grill in downtown Dayton, we slept well. I was up at 6 AM and took a small drive through Dayton for some photos and to look at the old homes and buildings. Dayton is along Lewis and Clark's Forgotten Trail, part of the trail they used to return home. They had an encampment on the Patit Creek, just east of town. History says that Main Street on Dayton was once used for as a race track for the Umatilla, Walla Walla, Cayuse and Palouse (where the name of the Appaloosa horse came from) tribes. There are currently 117 buildings in Dayton that are on the National Historic Register, including the Court House, which is the oldest in the state of Washington. So, the town is chock full of history.
The historic Columbia County Courthouse (built in 1887) and Main Street Dayton
After my drive and filling up with gas. I woke Solomon up and we were off to a quick 30 mile excursion to Walla Walla, WA to go see the Melody Muffler Road Art, something I had planned on, but was even more intent on doing after meeting the artist, Mike Hammond, the previous night when he attended the Troubs show. Mike is a muffler man, an artist, a musician and a music promoter. He attended both to hear us and to also look at us for a possible show in Walla Walla in the future. I had read of his Road Art while doing research for this trip and so I think I surprised him when he introduced himself and I said in reply, "Oh, you are the guy from Walla Walla that does sculptures made out of mufflers". The drive to Walla Walla was really nice...through more vineyards and some rolling hills.
Artist Mike Hammond. At right with his "Heavy Metal Band"
(photos courtesy of www.mikehammond.com - used by permission)
Mike has done numerous works of what is considered "Road Art" (see my comments on the Days 5-8 link about the wood work and also see my photos of other Road Art from Wisconsin on Page 1). I am finding that I like to see creative road art wherever I roam. In fact, I think that JFK's Twine Ball fits the same category as does the "Spindle" or Cars on a Spike from my earlier posts on this trip.
Mike's guitar player. How could I NOT include a Pink Flamingo. A knight in rusty armor.
Mike has this great car (and my tie dye shirt matches perfectly!!). These pieces (among others) adorn this car.
After seeing some of Mike's work, we swung by the car wash and then headed back to Dayton to get ready for the closing show and also to get ready to leave on the next leg of our trip.
The afternoon was tied up with us mingling with a number of Airstream Caraveners who came down for the show.
Video of Antsy playing with a couple of caraveners
Antsy is joined by Bobby Cochran, Bruce Wandmayer and Lee & Shirley Look from Ione, Washington
Airstream of Spokane had arranged for an Airstream Rally and there were about 20 Airstreams that had gathered in a park in Dayton. Knowing that this was happening, I had arranged for Antsy to head over to perform a small acoustic show to just the gathering of Airstreamers. I figured this would make a good photo-op for the band and would also provide Airstreamers an opportunity to get to know Antsy personally. Well, Bobby joined in with Antsy, and soon thereafter, Bruce Wandmayer and Todd McMasters from the band came over, Bruce with his sax and Todd with his fingers. Patti Hall and her husband Mark also ventured over and participated. A couple of the Airstreamers joined in with a standing bass and a banjo. What I had figured would be a one hour thing turned into a 3 1/2 hour visit and tour of Airstreams. Some bought CDs, some even had Bobby and Antsy sign their trailers. It was really tons of fun. Here are a few shots from that visit:
L-Airstreams lined up in Dayton R-Nick and Karyn from Airstream of Spokane with Antsy McClain
Antsy in the midst of Airstreams - Enjoying the Ride in his comfort zone
Antsy outside an Airstream; his signature on an Airstream window; signing another's Airstream
L-Antsy, Bobby, Bruce, Todd and Airstreamers gather R-The whole Famm Dammly!!!
The crowd this night was much larger and we had a number of visitors that came down from Kennewick. We also had some Flamingoheads from Seattle, Port Townsend, Vancouver (WA) and Boise in attendance at the show (You guys are great and we mean that!!) Antsy called me up on stage for the last song and it was a kick. Bruce Wandmayer found a trombone in an antique shop in Dayton and bought it. He surprised all of us by pulling it out and playing a couple of solos. We are both on the Gone At Last clip below, as is everyone else (which is a partial of Trailer Park in Heaven and Gone At Last). Solomon filmed this and was laughing so heard that the video is shaky..but fun nonetheless. Antsy thanks everyone and everything in sight.
To close out this three days, here are a couple of video clips: Patti Hall - Love Me Like A Man All of us - Gone At Last
Tomorrow Sol and I are off to Utah via Hell's Canyon, Oregon and Idaho. Another fun driving day.
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Days 5-8 Day 9 Day 13 Days 14/15 Day 16
Roadside guidance provided by......
See more of Sumoflam's Trip Journals