I have the whole day free until my concert at the Lebanon Public Library tonight at 7, so I'm catching up on things.
Yesterday's drive from Seattle to Lebanon, Oregon, was a nice one. The weather was good and the scenery was nice. I was surprised to see this sign along the way:
Along the way I stopped a few times and discovered that the press had already come in from the first concert on Sunday night, hosted by Jim Winder in Seattle, WA. There was a great article online that even included video. You can see it here: http://www.westseattleherald.com/2012/11/24/news/slideshow-helmstetler-house-gets-holidays-tuneful
I heard from Jim that the final count of the audience was about 300 people, and that sound about right. It was a huge crowd sitting at the base of the water tower across the street, in the street and on the sidewalks, and lots of kids and grown-ups dancing. Jim did a great job getting the word out and it was a wonderful time. They had about a million lights twinkling and it was just gorgeous. Thanks again, Jim and Debi!
THANKS ALSO to Jim for allowing me to use his Passport sound system and keyboard on this west coasts leg of the tour. It would have been a nightmare getting my stuff over here (I've flown with it before and it's not fun) so I REALLY appreciate it!
An equally wonderful time was had by all last night in Lebanon, Oregon, at the home of the newly elected Mayor, Paul Aziz and his lady friend Dawn and her daughter, Taylor. One of the things that's so fun about this tour is that I've been communicating with the hosts for months via email, and it's so fun to actually meet them in person. You feel like you sort of know them already, and it's like meeting an old friend for the first time. Mayor Paul is a really great guy and he and Dawn and his brother Steve and their friends went out of their way to help me get set up and feel comfortable.
I had some time before the show to take some pictures of the display:
|train and station|
Paul's display had several noteworthy features: Giant Christmas balls made of lights in his huge pine tree, and an giant animatronic snowman who introduced me! That was crazy!! And SO cool!! I hope Paul got a video of that, because I'd like to see it and I'd love for you to see it. Paul is a computer repair guy, and he designed and built the snowman. It's one of a kind!
|Mayor Paul Aziz and me|
Paul and I had been joking in our emails that, now that he is Mayor, he should give me a key to the city. He suggested a lighted key and I thought that would be pretty cool, but I never thought he'd actually do it!
After the concert and autograph signing I visited with the folks in their warm and cozy home for a couple of hours. We watched a little bit of the Disney "A Christmas Carol," which I had never seen, and ate delicious pizza. Paul told me that nearby Brownsville, OR is where the movie "Stand By Me" was filmed. Now things fit into place, but it's still kind of confusing. Cause "Stand By Me" is based on a novella by Stephen King called "The Body," which takes place in Castle Rock, MAINE, as do many of King's other stories. But the movie was filmed in Oregon and the movie setting is supposed to be Castle Rock, OR which I now know exists...but the movie wasn't even filmed there, it was filmed in Brownsville!!
ANYHOW, if you know me then you know that I just love visiting movie locations, so with my free afternoon I am going scouting in Brownsville to find the familiar settings from the movie! http://www.historicbrownsville.com/content/BrV_Stand_by_Me.html
I'll report back later! Have a great day!