Patty and I got back to KC last night after a week on the road — a monumental week here in KC, which we kept up with on TV and kansascity.com.
A lot of times when you leave town, you don’t miss much. Then, every 30 years or so, there are weeks like this one, where…
:: The Royals win the World Series
:: A downtown parade attracts 800,000 people. (Estimate courtesy of Mayor Sly James, who apparently has a master’s in Hyperbolic Numerical Studies.)
:: Alex Gordon opts for free agency.
:: The first streetcar arrives.
:: Southwest High School is slated for closing.
:: The state of Kansas continues to loses hundreds of millions in revenue and, by the day, becomes less livable.
…I guess you’re wondering just what could have taken us out of town during a week like this. Well, it was mostly business — Patty’s business. She has a company that designs and manufactures clergy vestments, primarily for women, and she was displaying and selling her products in my hometown of Louisville, KY, and Sewanee, TN. I was along mostly to help load and unload; set up and tear down; and drive.
Here are some of the highlights — just in case you’re wondering how a couple of absentee Royals’ fans spent their days while Kansas City was going crazy.
** We arrived in Louisville last Saturday night and immediately went to a bar-restaurant called the Mellow Mushroom to watch Game 4, which we had been listening to on the radio. The game was in the sixth inning, and although this was the World Series, not one TV in the bar was tuned in to the game. Every TV was on the Kentucky-Tennessee football game — which I could sort of understand, except that Tennessee was winning by more than 20 points…Kindly, the manager granted our request to turn one TV to the baseball game. By the time the game ended, we were about the last people in the bar and were yelling our fool heads off.
** For Game 5, Sunday, we went to a bar called Molly Malone’s. Again, not one TV was tuned in to the World Series. Every TV was on the Sunday night football game between the Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers…Now I was convinced that my hometown was no longer the town where I had grown up — the town where lots of people, including me, avidly followed the Cincinnati Reds, who play about 100 miles up I-71. Once again, though, a bartender accommodated us and switched a TV to the only game that really mattered. Seated at the bar, we screamed and shouted as Eric Hosmer “stole home” with the tying run and the Royals went on to blow the ham-handed Mets out of the series…Patty celebrated with a couple of shots of whiskey; I had two N/A beers.
** On Tuesday, we heard from our daughter Brooks, who had braved the crowd of about a million people (hey, Sly could have been a couple hundred thousand off, right?) and had her photo taken with none other than Most Valuable Broadcaster Rex Hudler.
** Tuesday night we left Louisville, where Patty had been selling at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and headed to Sewanee, TN, an hour and a half southeast of Nashville. Patty’s objective was the School of Theology at Sewanee:The University of the South. The university, founded in 1858, sits atop the Cumberland Plateau, which is basically the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains. While Patty worked, I played golf Wednesday and Thursday. I lost about half a dozen balls the first day and came close to hitting one off the Cumberland Plateau. Fortunately it stopped in some heavy grass behind the green. (At least I think that’s where it ended up; I never found it.)
** Thursday night we headed west and stopped in Nashville. Boy, was I excited! The last time I was in Nashville, about a year and a half ago, I had a great time hanging out on Honky Tonk Row, the strip of bars on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth streets. Back then, I latched on to a couple of musicians — a lead guitarist and a bass player — who moved around from one bar to another and one band to another. Those two guys could play just about any song anyone requested. Their forte was classic country by artists like George Strait, Alabama and Brooks and Dunn…This time, I was hoping to find those guys again and, if not, at least hear some similar music.
Nashville is a high-energy tourist town, and several thousand people clogged that one-block stretch Thursday night. I arrived on the scene at 10 p.m. (Patty had gone back to the hotel after dinner) — just as the early-session bands were wrapping up and the late-session groups were about to take over. During the changeover, I meandered from bar to bar, checking out the groups that were setting up and hoping at least one group would offer classic country music. After the bands struck up the music, however, it was pretty clear that rock and country-rock were the only genres being offered. By about 11:15, I was on my way back to the hotel.
I was disappointed, but I’ve been around long enough and seen enough to know “you can’t always get what you want” and even though you might not like it, things change.
…The disappointment was short-lived, however, because yesterday morning we headed home. Back to Kansas City…Kansas City, home of the World Champion Kansas City Royals.
Even experiencing it vicariously, it was a hell of a week.