Gordon was getting inducted into the South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his time in the Fabulous Flippers so we flew back to Sioux Falls a few days early; they hadn’t played together regularly for over 40 years so a little practice seemed in order. We were so proud of ourselves; we were organized, left for the airport in plenty of time, and even got to sit together on the leg to Las Vegas. Then everything went to hell. We knew we had a short layover to we rushed to check the departure board to find out what gate we were supposed to be in to go to Omaha. We both agreed (and groaned) when we read that we were supposed to be in B Terminal (we landed in C Terminal) and made a run for it. On the way we checked another departure board which said we were supposed to be in B Terminal. We got to our gate and nothing was happening so I asked the gate agent when our flight would take off. She said our flight had just taken off–from a gate in C Terminal! I don’t know how both of us could have gotten everything so wrong–although I’m the first to admit I’m getting old and may be losing my marbles. The blame game didn’t matter anyway; we just had to get to Omaha. So the agent booked us on the only flight leaving for Omaha that day–4 hours later and changing planes in Phoenix. So we made the best of things. We did crossword puzzles and ate Nathan’s hotdogs. I’ve never been a fan of terminal food and at least a Nathan’s would taste familiar. We finally boarded the flight to Phoenix but had to sit on the ground for some sort of maintenance. I was watching out the window, wondering if we were going to be stranded in Phoenix and starting to get twitchy, when I noticed a golf cart pulling up to our jet, filled with Supreme Jet Engine fuel. “Looks like our jet is a quart low,” I commented to Gordon. He looked out the window in disbelief, we looked at each other, and started howling. Actually, it was the laughter of despair. They finally fixed whatever was wrong with the plane and we took off. When we landed in Phoenix we checked the departure board AND THE GATE AGENT and ran to our gate. I was afraid we’d missed it. The plane was being boarded and, since we were the last people on, we didn’t miss a thing. We knew we were going to be middle seat people so we sat as close to the front as possible. We had to be on the ground to get our rental car and the car place closed at midnight. We didn’t have time for the laggards to unload their overhead bins and wander out. The flight wasn’t bad. I sat between two small women so we all had room and I was able to sleep most of the way. As we taxied into Omaha I told our story to the woman on my left. I told her if the car rental place was closed we could probably call Uber. And she told me (she was a native) that Uber didn’t usually work that late. Most people drove as a second job and were probably in bed. So I said we could catch a cab. She said there was probably a cab service still available. This was not encouraging. The attendants finally opened the door and I saw Gordon leading the pack off the plane. My job was to collect our luggage which had been sitting in Omaha for 7 hours; our luggage made our original flight. Well, it was 12:05 and I didn’t have much hope for the rental car. Fortunately for us lots of flights had been delayed and at least four planes landed when we did. All the car agencies were open. We got our car and drove to the hotel where we had to bang on the door to get the attention of the desk clerk. I knew we were back in the Midwest because nothing stays open late but the poor souls working the graveyard shift are lovely. That was the drama of our trip.
We drove to Brookings and saw some old college compadres. We took a tombstone tour and ate some brickle-less ice cream. I don’t know why they call it butter brickle; I only got one brickle in two tries. The kid who made it must have gotten a D. Then we went to Sioux Falls. Gordon practiced and I enjoyed the local art scene–or tried to. I got a map of the art walk which detailed at the statues in Downtown Sioux Falls. What I didn’t know is the city takes the art in for the winter to protect it (I think) and the statues hadn’t been replaced. I saw all the plinths and name plates but no art. That was annoying. I visited David again by the river and noticed a touch of cellulite on the back of his thighs. How had I ever missed that.
The concert started out well. Another horn band called Precious Cargo opened and they were fine. Wild Cherry (not the Play that Funky Music group but a girl band) tried mightily but if you think a bunch of old guys playing rock & roll is incongruous you should see a bunch of grandmothers. Yikes. The original lead singer had died and they found a pretty little pop singer who had a lovely voice but no soul for rock. Joan Jett has nothing to worry about. Then the Fabulous Flippers took stage–and blew the roof off. It’s too bad they only got half an hour. The acts that followed them were rather sad and people left. But the Flippers were triumphant. Good for them.
We had to leave the next day but that’s okay; everybody else was going home too. I think the guys want to do another show but that’s in the ‘wish’ stage. If they do, great; if they don’t, that’s alright too.
But it was fun. And I got to take one of the band guys home! I’m a groupie!