Although I’ve travelled a lot during my military career. The Thunderbirds’ visit to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana marked my first time ever being in Louisiana. (I may have driven/flown through it a couple of times, but never spent more than a few hours there before.)
The base is located in somewhat of a rural area (as most Air Force bases are,) so it was hard for me to judge if I really liked the place or not. The people were generally nice … and I always enjoy secretly noticing the subtle differences between Southerners and others. (For example: One would think that having lots of gold teeth went out of fashion in the 1990’s. One would be wrong. Also, it apparently is a requirement for black women in the South to wear an elaborate weave, regardless of occupation.) I had fun.
Saturday’s show was okay, but Sunday’s show was cancelled due to bad weather. This year, I think the team is experiencing a trend of having shows interrupted by outside events. We’ve had a few show sites where we couldn’t perform our full “high-altitude” shows on both Saturday and Sunday.
At Travis AFB in California, Saturday’s show went well, but Sunday came with bad news. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/biplane-crashes-travis-air-force-base-air-show-article-1.1779300. I was impressed with the local base Public Affairs office and their reaction to the incident.
The show in Jersey at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst was a “low-show” (Low altitude) on Saturday, but a great high show Sunday. I also had a chance to reunite with some friends in Air Force Public Affairs.
We usually return to Las Vegas after each show, but sometimes, it’s more practical for us to just travel directly to the next show site (rather than spend time/money going home only to return to the same region.) After Jersey, we traveled to Youngstown, Ohio. Wednesday allowed me to have some time off, so I drove to the Rock-n-Roll hall of fame in Cleveland.
I really underestimated this place. I expected it to simply stay focused on the genre of rock music. I figured I’d learn more about Elvis, the Rolling Stones and Van Halen than anything else.
While there was certainly plenty of focus on traditional rock music, I was happy to see that they gave credit to rock’s origins, much of which was steeped in black culture.
I like the nod to how Elvis “borrowed” from black blues musicians, and how the civil rights issues America slowly affected a change in music to create (what is now) the old-school hip-hop I love. There was a tribute to Run DMC and Public Enemy, acknowledging the impact on American culture.
It was worth the drive.