Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Dicken Christmas, Hudson, IL December 19th

As I've said before, I have been corresponding with the hosts for months and some have been in touch more than others. Bobby Dicken, who owns his own Mobile DJ service, works in financial services AND is a firefighter, has been an active correspondent.  This 25-year old young man is a powerful go-getther, and it seemed like almost every day he was telling me about more publicity that he got for his concert.  His Mom, Carla, also friended me on Facebook and kept me up-to-date with what was happening too, so I was really looking forward to meeting this family!
  On the way to Illinois from Michigan I did have to make a quick trip to a Walmart, and found one which I think has to be one of the smallest in the country. It was the smallest one I've ever seen, anyway. And right in the back of the parking lot was THIS find!:

WOW!!  Something  great for my "Weird Things are Everywhere!" collection!

I reached the Dicken household early, around 4:45, because they'd indicated to me that they wanted to have dinner before the show, but when I got there I discovered that plans had changed and dinner would be after the show. However, Carla Dicken had laid out a spread which actually was like dinner before dinner. I was hungry so I had a bite.
Bobby was busy out in the yard. He'd set up a stage in his driveway and chairs in the driveway and bleachers at the end of the driveway. He had a ton of signage and he had even arranged for bus transportation for attendees from the school parking lot to the display.  He has a great sound system that he uses for his deejay work and I was able to plug into that, so that meant less work setting up for me. He even had arranged for a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!! This guy thought of EVERYTHING and it was all very professional. We had at least 200 people there!
I didn't get any good pictures of his display but Bobby had hired a professional photographer who just posted her work and you can see it here:
Bobby's charity of choice for the concert was the McLean County Toys for Tots program.  They had already reached their goal of toys for the season but were very grateful for the opportunity to be able to give more toys out to children in need.  I know that at least two of their boxes were filled to overflowing from the concert and possibly there were more that I couldn't see.  They expressed their appreciation to everyone there and once again, I was happy to be a part of an event that could bring happiness to others at Christmas time.
The concert began and during the first song, "Mrs. Santa Claus," the lady herself came out and gave candy canes to the kids, just as she had done in Gloucester at the XTRA 99.1 show.  Later, Santa came out to dance with the children during  "Santa Whatcha Got." But just as Bobby, who just happened to be my volunteer,  got going doing "Candy" the heavens opened up and it began to rain!  We had to get the keyboard into the garage so we couldn't finish that song. But Santa brought me an umbrella and someone covered the board with a tarp and I was able to do "Where is Santa Claus" and "The House on Christmas Street" and then we did the autographing at a table in the garage, so the day was saved!
One really cool thing that happened after the concert was that the sign that said "Merry Christmas from Judy Pancoast" in lights had a malfunction. When they finally got it fixed it said, "Marry Me Christine!" and there was a proposal right there on the lawn in front of God and everybody.  Luckily Christine said "yes!"  Here's a photo of the happy couple:

That's a first at a Judy Pancoast concert! 
Here's something else that's a first. The day before was Bobby's birthday, and here is his cake:

Pretty cool, huh? Bobby didn't want to cut it!   Bobby and I were served the first slices. I, of course, just had a couple of bites and it was delicious. 

After everything was packed up the family took me out to a local pizza place for a taste of the local fare.  Yummy! The barbecued chicken pizza was a treat and the company was great.

We did not say goodbye that night, as I had the show at Hudson Elementary School the next day, which I've already written about in this blog. But I just want to say a great big thank you again to the Dicken family for a great time, and thank you for all the hard work you put in on my behalf! Merry Christmas!!

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