Archive for September, 2009

Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum

September 17, 2009

Dear Diary,

I don’t know what YOU’ve been doing, but I’ve been backpacking through the Swiss Alps with my walrus friend, The Colonel.

JB and The Colonel.

JB and The Colonel.

So it was really hard to keep in touch. There were some rough days there when I didn’t think I would make it through. But The Colonel always pulled me back from the edge. And you know what? I think I’m better for it…

NOT! I was here all along, Diary. I just didn’t call you. So gullible, you are.

But I did do something wasply adventurous. I played a couple of shows a ways off from my native land, in the faraway nation of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. I was accompanied by my sometime-guitarist, photographer, securitizer, and friend Chucks Pranio. The people of Waynesburg UNIVERSITY (where the schooling happens, I presume) greeted us kindly and allowed me to play my jams in their beautiful performing arts center! It was one of the nicest rooms I’ve ever played in! You know I always prefer a traditional theater, Di. We’ll have to go back again sometime!

Fascinatingly, the nation of Waynesburg goes to bed quite early! So when Chucks and I ventured out to gather some food, we found no open stores or restaurants, and resolved on the only place with any sign of life, the Wendy’s drive-thru.

wendys

As you know, I myself do not eat beef or poultry, Diary, so I ordered a baked potato from the voice in the box. It was quick to inform me, though, that all of the baked potatoes had been sold as of 20 minutes prior. Instead I ordered a Caesar salad and some french fries. (Between you and me, Di, I couldn’t see why, if they had french fries, that they couldn’t fashion a single baked potato out of the lot by pressing them together but I didn’t ask questions.) When I did bring my meal back to my hotel, I was surprised to find bacon on my Caesar salad…

But aside from this single time-sensitive incident, I can still say that I honestly enjoyed this new land. Its inhabitants were friendly, kind, and welcoming. And the next morning, Chucks and I set out on a short journey to find an establishment known as the Airport Restaurant.

We did. And we ate there.

Then came the Commonwealth of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We drove through the Appalachians to meet the angel-voiced singer-songwriter, Christopher Morse. He and I were to perform in nearby Mechanicsburg that night. (It should be noted, Diary, that much of this drive was underscored by David Lucas Burge’s 12-disc master class on Perfect Pitch.

The Eerie David Lucas Burge

The Eerie David Lucas Burge

And yes. It was both wild AND crazy.) I quickly realized, as we entered the city-state, that Gettysburg is one of my new favorite places. It maintains a perfect blend of old and new. Aged and modernized. Crummy and shiny.

I also began to notice a series of rather large signs, all directing us to a venerable wonderland known as Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum.

Mr. Ed and an elephotty.

Mr. Ed and an elephotty.

Once this series began, we knew that we had no choice and would be spiritually required to complete this pilgrimage to mecca.

We drove through the magical entrance, Di, and as promised, it was filled with elephants. But not just elephants. Homemade fudge! And puppets! And whoopie cushions! And an enchanted forest! Basically, Di, it was heaven.

It turns out that Mister Ed (who was not “home” at the moment) had been in business for 34 years! Chucks and I took some photos.

JB and an elephant.

JB and an elephant.

I even bought some chocolate-covered sun flower seeds, which I’m eating RIGHT NOW as I type this!

Once we pulled ourselves away, we ventured off to the cemetery where Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address. Is was quite amazing. And many of the graves are marked with symbols of the freemasons but that’s a whole other can of worms! We knew we were walking on hallowed ground. If you ever get a chance, Di, go. I only wish we could have stayed longer.

Christopher Morse

Christopher Morse.

Christopher Morse.

and his crew of lovely ladies were a wonderful treat to end a great excursion. We played at Juice & Java in the District of Mechanicsburg, though my set was cut brief by some laryngitis which I am still currently fighting. He filled the room with his heavenly sounds. As did Miss Anna De La Motte (with her own heavenly sounds)

I’m tired now, Diary. I’m taking a nap. Writing is exhausting. I’m going to try to nurse myself back to health.

With a gingerly wave,

jb