Friday, March 21, 2014

Monday, March 17-Thursday, March 20: Brownsville, TX

3/17/14- Day Off!

Even though we finished our shows in Donna yesterday, we stayed there for another day while the big top was taken down and things were readied at the Brownsville lot.

I called Economy Auto Service as soon as I woke up to tell them about my "Service Engine Soon" light coming on, and O'Reilly's diagnosis. They told me to bring the truck in and they would look at it as soon as possible.

As I was walking to get my truck I looked over to see the status of tear down. I believe the crew had been working all night, but the tent was still standing. However, it looked as if the inside was completely empty.

I drove over to Pharr to drop my truck off, and once they were up and about, Ryan and his family came to pick me up.
We drove to Progreso to cross over into Mexico one final time. The main reason we went was so I could pick up a gift for my Nana. Her birthday is coming up, and I wanted to get her one of the necklaces where the men bend wire into names and shapes and attach them to a chain. Hers came out beautifully.

Ryan and Tatiana also picked up gifts for people, and we stopped to have tacos at a great little restaurant that Ryan discovered a few years ago.
The last time I ate there, I made a joke from the Simpsons about the tacos being "carne de burro" (donkey meat), but I said it a little too loudly and received many disdainful expressions from the employees and customers.
Stupid American!

When we got back to the lot in Donna we saw that the tent's sidewalls were down, and the canvas was also on its way to the ground.

Later in the afternoon Leo called from the garage and said they had fixed my truck. The spark plugs were in rough shape, so they replaced all of them. My truck has 10, so the bill was a little higher than I had expected. However, I was happy that my truck was running as smooth as a gravy sandwich again.

This evening Ryan's family and I picked up Teo at his hotel, and then we all went to get sushi for dinner.
Teo was sick over the weekend, but he was starting to feel better. He was also happy that he had finished his sound department load out by 1:30 a.m. last night, which is much earlier than he had anticipated.

When we got back to the lot, only the tent's towers were still standing.

3/18/14- Day Off!

The route sheets we were given on Sunday told us that we all needed to leave at 11:00 Tuesday morning, so I woke up with plenty of time to have coffee, shower, and pack my house.

When I got out of the shower, Ryan knocked on my door to pass on the news from Julio that we weren't going to leave until tomorrow morning.
I went outside to see how the tear down was going, and I saw that the crew was taking down the tent's towers.

I joined Ryan and his family for some fabric shopping in the morning, but other than that we all laid low.

Hey! Where'd the tent go?

Even though we were told that we were leaving in the morning, more and more people started heading over to Brownsville during the day.
I was feeling very anxious the whole time since I felt like we were missing out on some vital piece of information.
A "Dr. Who" marathon at Ryan's house helped soothe my jangled nerves.

When I returned from throwing out the trash in the evening, I noticed that the Espana family's trailers that surrounded my house were all getting ready to leave.
In my trailer I saw that I had missed a call from Ryan. He was asking if I had lost power, which I soon realized that I had.
I went back outside and saw that our power had been cut, and Mario told me that he was told people could still leave in the morning if they wanted. I could tell from looking around that the majority of folks were getting ready to hit the road.

I called Ryan and we both agreed that if we were going to sit without power, we might as well do it at the new lot.

We both packed up our houses, and then I had to wait for Mario's motorhome to move from in front of my house so I could hook up my truck.
Ryan and I finally hit the road around 11:30 p.m., but we started our jump by heading 20 miles in the opposite direction of Brownsville.
We both needed to go to Flying J in Edinburg, TX to use their RV dumping stations.

After taking care of business we began the very easy drive to Brownsville. Since it was after midnight, traffic was almost non-existant; the 46 miles from Donna to the new lot just flew by!

We pulled up to the lot in Brownsville just before 2 a.m., and we were both parked right away.
I moved my truck (in this town our trucks are parked right next to where our trailers are), hooked up to water, and set up my house.

I was still wired on the big cup of coffee I had from Flying J, so I didn't get to sleep until almost 4 a.m.

3/19/14- Day Off!

Even though I went to bed very late, I still woke up around my usual time, 9:00 a.m.

I got out of bed and walked around to get some exercise. We are set up right next to the Sunrise Mall, which is just a mile from the lot Kelly Miller plays in Brownsville.
After five seasons of playing this area, I am very familiar with our surroundings on this lot.

The tent going up in Brownsville

I was grateful for my generator today since we weren't able to plug into show power until almost 5 p.m. I was wary about using my air conditioner though, because I didn't want to overload my generator. I spent a lot of time out of the house just because it was such a warm day.

I spent a low key evening at the lot, and Ryan and I watched the very entertaining film, "Pirate Radio", about the biggest pirate rock and roll station in England that was broadcast from a ship back in the 1960's.

3/20/14- Day Off!

4 days off between towns? A guy could get used to this!

I tried to be semi productive this morning. I went to a printing shop not far from the lot and had some labels that I had designed printed out for the vacuum prop.
I then went to Home Depot to buy a tarp. The lot in Brownsville is full of dirt, and there is really nowhere clean for us to dry the water mats between shows. It looks like we will have to lay down a tarp backstage before cleaning them.

This afternoon Ryan and I went outside and got the vacuum gag on its feet, blocking out bits and creating material.
Then came one of my least favorite parts of gag creation: creating and choosing the right sound effects.
We spent almost 4 hours on that very tedious chore. I'm glad that it is over!

Afterwards I joined Ryan and family for sushi, where I picked up the check. Ryan made a huge deal out of it, since apparently I give off an aura of "tightwad-edness" seconded only by the late, great Jack Benny.
Now where's my violin....

 So long, Donna!
Aldo Vazquez's son, Franco, showing his fandom. Photo by Memo Vazquez.

Check out this article for some great photos from the show in Donna: 


Greg Michales said...

Is this tent a lot larger than the KM tent? It also looks like its a different configuration. Also does that elephant statue follow the show around its cool looking. We also loved the pic with you guys almost loosing your wigs.

Steve Copeland said...


Yes, this tent is massive!

The elephant statue (also a horse) stay in Donna and stand guard over the lot there.