What an adventure!

Well guys we did it!  In seven days we played my hometown, Atlanta, and The Riverbend Festival of Chattanooga TN.  This blog may be a bit long but it has some excitement to say the least.

First we started with my hometown of Whiteville.  I got to play Gossiping Gladys and Hera the Hobo both Monday and Tuesday at the Columbus County Arts Council.  Thank you Mom, Sally Mann, and Clara Cartrette for making that possible.  My grandmother Hootnanny (as we all know her as), my father, his wife, Mrs Glen (from Baptist Baby Bonnie’s skit), and other family friends and church members all seen the show for the first time.  Some even came back for the second night…so success!  I even got Roddy Barnes muddy from the knee down on a 4-wheeler while I was down south!!!

Thank goodness that while I was on the phone with Caroleeena, who was getting their car inspected, I was reminded to look at my tags.  Well, they were out so before our show on Tuesday I had the car inspected and the tags renewed.  This would later pay off big time during our adventure. Wednesday morning we were off to Atlanta to stay with the Moon Goddess herself  Holly Howell.

Not far down the road did we regret not spending our few spare hours waiting at an auto shop while they repaired the AC.  Sweaty we went laughing our way to GA.  About the time we got up to a good speed I started noticing Roddy swatting at bugs I couldn’t see.  Soon we would realize that “Hippie” my ’87 Pontiac Safari Station Wagon is loosing her head lining and the foam that was once under the beautiful Burgundy cloth had disintegrated and was now covering us like powdered doughnuts.  Oh how the sweat did help it stick.  Our favorite part was when we would catch one of these flying flacks in the eye. ~ giggle inserted here!

About three hours from our destination, around Fairview SC, we heard a loud pow and parts of tire went flying.  We pulled off sure we had blown a tire but once we were parked on the side of Highway 20 we didn’t even see a loss of tire pressure in all four so we pulled back onto the road.  Well when driving a 26 year old station wagon packed tight there is no safe way of returning back on a busy interstate from a complete stop.

As soon as we got up to 25mph a thud thud thud sound came. We pulled over again and deiced it was a piece of siding on the car flapping so we make the daring attempt to enter the interstate traffic again only to have the sound return.   When pulling of the third time I notice while under the car that the outside wall of the back driver side tire is missing and metal mesh was exposed.  Welllllllllll, the spare tire is inside the wall of “Hippie,” and she is loaded to the gills, and it is like over 90 degrees at 3:30pm on the hot asphalt of the dangerous interstate side.  I chose to risk blowing her completely out and driving her the almost three miles at 25mph on the side of I20 to the nearest exit.  At the gas station a sweet lady named Mary helped us find a tire store 7miles away so we tried our hand at making it to the tire shop on our barely there tire.

30min later we arrive at what looks like a junk yard from a scary move.  It went on for I know a mile and we finally found a small entrance but no business sign. After meeting the not so overly friendly folks there I was sweating the fact we couldn’t just drive away real fast if we needed to.  Well lets just say I was very glad to not be traveling alone at this point.  Thankfully a very strong helpful man named Scooter put us a used tire on that was ALMOST the right size and we were back on our way.  Not until departing from this group of movie scene characters for about twenty miles did I ever get a laugh out of Roddy about this whole ordeal. I sadly had the giggles the whole time.

Once we were gassed up and on the road, well into the Atlanta traffic, Roddy had relaxed so far that he was doing a Sudoku puzzle.  About this time something the size of a shoe come off the back of this transfer truck and flew right into my window.  It rolled across the top of the car making a large bang boom that startled Roddy upright. Then he starts frantically pointing at his side window saying “your aerial, your aerial.”  I then realized that by aerial he meant antenna. Folks, this mystery object had had perfect marksmanship and had flown into my CB antenna, which was now dragging the grown outside of Roddy’s window.

Without thought I told him to roll the window down and pull it inside.  Surprisingly easy Roddy did just that pleading “will this ever end?”  I laughed once again at our new adventure in the wonderful world of “Hippie.”

Once we were just a few miles away from our home for the night my phone dies.  We of course were using my phone as a GPS and the great “Hippie” doesn’t have a cigarette outlet that works well enough to charge a phone so…after realizing that there was a Snapfinger Ln, Dr, Rd, and Ave we some how found our host standing in the street waving us to safety.

The next night we were to preform for About the Music at the Famous Pub in Atlanta.  Wonderful food and a great stage in the back.  We had a small crowd on the patio due to the weather and last minuet booking but they were with us solid all the way up until that huge storm arrived.  Roddy being the cleaver one decided to sing “Stormy Weather” but Mother Nature decided she was not in the mood for his sass but we of course got a big laugh out of it.

We then went inside where several of my favorite musicians had arrived to do an open mic jam with the Atalanta legend Donna Hopkins.  Other amazing people came to join including Ralph Roddenberry, who would later beat out the rhythm  to “Bodies” for me as I sang.  Donna herself even got up to hit a few notes of “Hallelujah” with me.  Needless to say it was a memorable night.

The next day we were off to check out The Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga TN and get our artist passes and transportation tag for “Hippie.” We meet some wonderful friends for breakfast at the Flying Biscuit in Decatur and gassed up.  No more the an hour away from our destination we see blue lights in the side mirrors.  Note I didn’t say rear view for “Hippie” was packed to the gills, which would later be this cops excuses for pulling us over. Please tell me how every moving truck on the roads in GA are not being stopped then for obstructed view.  Well we all know that my car is fun but some find the looks of her a little too much fun.

This guy was trying to be a party pooper but sadly for him we were not partying and were just boring musicians with a gig to get to.  He took my license and ran them only to return and ask me to step to the back of the car.  As I walked to meet him at the tail end of “Hippie” I tripped over my own feet only to stumble with ALL OF MY WEIGHT  straight into the officers chest.  Literally folks there was a thud when my face hit.  I practically had to pull his walkie talkie out of my mouth and hand it back to him.  He lost all of his militant manors and caught me and startled he asked was I ok.  I answered with “Dude your chest is made of steal”….”Well, no but my bullet proof vest is”

He of coursed then asked what the beer shaped beverage was in my cup holder.  Oddly me and Roddy had joked earlier how my organic ginger ale bottle looked like a beer and how it could cause trouble…now I have went and face planted into the chest of and officer like a drunkard.  He then ask if I had any drugs on board…I said no of course but wondered what idiots ever say yes.  All I could figure was the they look for body language to give the truth away.  He let us go and we were once again facing the danger of getting slow and heavy “Hippie” back on the interstate from a dead stop.

No more than twenty miles later we see blue lights again.  Yeah…you read that right.  This time the guy says that I didn’t signal a lane change.  Well, I had already waved to the officer in his undercover Ford Explorer about ten miles back so I know he was having to search for something to pull me over for…for like the other guy the thought “Hippie” was too much of a party.

This guy not only took my license but also Roddy’s.  I don’t think this is illegal but he did it anyway and because we didn’t have anything to hide we let him.  With in a few minuets another cop car arrived…then another…then another.  By the end of it there were six Sheriffs standing at the back of my car as one ran our ids through the system.

I decided to play it cool and ask one of the officers over for a conversation on the reliability of the mixed matched used tire Scooter had sold me.  About that time the officer that pulled me scared me when he was once again at my window asking me to step out of the car.  I made sure to not trip on  my feet this time.  He handed me a warning for my lack of signal and happily proceeded to the party pooping he was after.  He asked me if I had any drugs where upon I said “No.” “So you want mind if we have a look around then?”  Again I think that this is illegal for he didn’t have cause to search.  I was completely sober and not smelling of any mischief…only driving a blue station wagon painted up with space.

Again having nothing to hide I told him “Well, Sr. you can do as you wish but I have too much stuff back there to be taking out in this heat on the highway, plus we are only eleven miles from picking up our stage passes and getting off the road.  We are tired and would like to be on our way.”  “Oh, it will only take a few minuets.  We just want to go through the front section real fast.”  I agreed and he asked me to have my gentleman friend step out.  I had to giggle when I taped on the Roddy’s window only to find him back to his Sudoku puzzles.  We stood outside on the side of the highway as they went through the front of “Hippie.”

He then late us go and I gave them all a business card and invited them to the show.  Due to my fun car art I was pulled twice with in thirty minuets.  GA doesn’t like “Hippie.”

We got our passes and made it home for bed at some lovely friends vacant house.  We were out like lights.  The next day we got up cool as cucumbers and got dressed for our sound check.  We were so on the ball we were early to meet Ray our stage manager.  Here is a picture of him.  We fell in love with his guy!

Luckily we were not on that huge Coke stage like Roddy had thought but on a stage more our size.  It was perfect and set under a bridge.  Look at the first photo of the blog at how beautiful the setting was.  I even got to do Hera the Hobo out in the audience undercover for about fifteen minuets before the show started.  It was so much fun getting to play a hobo under a bridge in costume with a crowd that size.

They loved the hobo and the crowd kept growing and growing.  When I went off to get into Gladys Roddy had them laughing out loud to some of his originals.  The hung on to every word Gladys had and literally a roar of breath came out of the whole crowd as they exhaled during our last song “Hallelujah.”  Then I am honored to tell you that we got the only standing ovation that stage got during the whole two week run of the festival.  We signed autographs for and hour.

Our favorite fan was Conner pictured here back stage with Roddy and I.  He had to get Roddy’s Cd after hearing “Little Fishes.”  After finding out that Connor plays piano as well Roddy made him pinky promise that when Roddy was too old to play that stage under the bridge in TN that Connor would take his place and make sure to invite Roddy to the show.  Connor made that promise with such faith and strength it inspired Roddy and I all over again.

Thanks to Emily Kate Boyd and her family for introducing us to Chattanooga last year and hosting us on our visits.  To Jeff Styles for believing in us and booking the show.  To all of the stage, lighting, and sound managers, thanks for the show was only that good because of you.  Last but not least to all the wonderful new fans for your energy and light.  We hope to be back!

We didn’t just survive this big adventured we rocked it out.  Thanks to you we did it with our amazing new microphone and are beautiful Cd in hand.  We will be bringing our new Cd “Songs from The C.C. Show” to Raleigh NC this Friday and Saturday at Cirque De Vol Studios both nights at 7:30.  If you are in the area and donated I will hopefully have your signed copy with me.  If you are interested in getting one we will have them there to sign.  Thanks to everyone again for supporting this project from point A to point B.  Look what we made!

 

I can’t wait for you to hear it!  Much love…I hope you enjoyed!

Moonbeams and butta beans!

C.C. Stevens

 

 

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