Weekend Review...

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sure hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was as good as it gets and because of that, you get to relive it!



So anyway...Friday afternoon I left work early and made a batch of Southern Fried Chicken Tenders and red potato salad with minced green peppers and red onions and a dressing of red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and mayo. I packaged it all up put it in a cooler and headed to Peter's baseball game. His team did not do well. It was probably their worst game of the season.

After the game darlin' Nancy and I headed to the store and bought a watermelon, a cantaloupe, some grapes and some strawberries. We also picked up some Amstel Light and some Dos Equis. When we got back to her home we made a fruit salad. Then we packaged everything into the big cooler. Nancy called a friend and we borrowed her son's wagon.

Saturday morning they had a second game and they lost again. After the game Nancy and I headed downtown to the Sunset Symphony. The cooler fit perfectly into the wagon, like they were made for each other. We got a perfect parking spot one block from the entrance, strapped the two folding canvas chairs to the wagon and we get into the park and find a perfect spot, house right on a rise. We set up the chairs and left the cooler in the wagon, a perfect height for a table and placed it between us and laid out a blanket in front to sit on also.

Then we grabbed the lawn size plastic bag we had brought, folded up the chairs, put them and the blanket and the backpack we had for some extra clothes and grabbed the umbrella (grabbed at the last second by Nancy), and got ready because a storm was coming in from the Arkansas side of the river. The skies were getting blacker and you could see the rain line.

From the stage came an announcement to seek shelter in one of the tents the sponsors had around the park. Problem was none of them had sides and the people closest to them had scurried, so Nancy sat on the cooler with her feet on it and held the umbrella as the rain came in on an angle. I stood on the side opposite the umbrella holding it in place.

And the rains came and the wind came and it was kind of fun drinking our beers behind this big (could have been bigger) umbrella. A couple near us packed up except for one of their oversized canvas chairs and she sat in his lap with a HUGE golf umbrella as their buffer to the rain. She looked over and since I had an angled view of the storm, told me I was on funnel cloud watch.

If I had seen one there would have been no permanent structures to head for, so we rode it out for 57 minutes and then it stopped. People began to return to dry off tarps and chairs left behind. One group near us had a beach umbrella that snapped in two.

They canceled the Navy Band - HUGE bummer - and the second act of the day took the stage. The band was called Mashaa.
The lead vocalist is a Memphis girl and they were good. Nothing special, both of us would have preferred to have seen the Navy Band.

By this time, the clouds were gone and the sun had returned hot as before, but with a cooling breeze coming off the river, which is to our right looking at the stage.

Next came the air show performed by the Commemorative Air Force. A number of the fliers were from the Memphis area. The highlight of the show was Skip Stewart and his souped-up Pitts S-2S, the 1,100-pound biplane he modified in his two-car garage in Cordova, a town on the outskirts of Memphis.

He is a Fed Ex pilot by day but on Saturday he had his plane making roll after roll and loop after loop and sending it straight up in the sky and making it stand still for what seemed an eternity.

I might have some pictures...I had another camera malfunction...I could not believe it.

Then it was time for the Symphony to take the stage and they are very good. It is my first time hearing them and except for an annoying buzz that came and went in the sound system, they were great. At one point ex-Governor, now Senator Lamar Alexander joined them on stage playing a medley of songs about Memphis or written in Memphis with a large helping of Elvis spread in. He had joked before beginning that he just hoped "he and the Symphony would end at the same time." They almost accomplished it...he ended a few bars before the Symphony.

Throughout the evening Nancy and I enjoyed the picnic we had packed with the beers and a nice bottle of Chateau St. Michelle Merlot to top it off. The crowds thickened around us but we had a perfect view of the stage the entire evening, comfortably lounging in our seats. You are allowed to bring in food and drink as long as it is contained in a cooler or backpack. Families and groups of friends gather and set up tables and blankets and chairs.

They also have the section in front of the stage fenced off and tables of 10 set up. You also bring in food or there is an organization caterer who will supply your party with food. The tables of 10 go for $450.00.

Nancy and I agree we liked the set-up we had and are planning on doing it next year with some other people.

Finally, the stage was ready and the conductor for the Four Tops took the stage with the Memphis Symphony. The current line-up of the Four Tops took the stage in purple suits.

Original member Abdul "Duke" Fakir is now joined by Ronnie McNeir (who joined after Levi Stubbs retired following his stroke), Theo Peoples (who joined when original member Lawrence Peyton died in 1977) and Lawrence "Roquel" Payton, Jr. (
who joined when founding member Renaldo "Obie" Benson died in 2005 and is the son of Lawrence Payton ).

The did all the hits, "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)", "Reach Out, I'll Be There" "Ain't No Woman" and more.

I guess the Air Show took longer than they expected and since the park is in the airspace used by the airport, the window for fireworks granted must have been coming up. It seemed the Four Tops were on stage for too short a time.

Maestro David Loebel, in his last season with the Symphony, came back out and informed us that it "has nothing to do with the War of 1812, nor does it have anything to do with America, but we are playing it anyway" as they began the "1812 Overture"

We waited for the fireworks to begin and we were really close so we had a spectacular view. The music and the fireworks continued into a second piece by the Symphony, and then they ended and left the stage as the fireworks continued. At one point they cranked up the sound system with some David Bowie and the Pink Floyd, but honestly Nancy and I thought it detracted from the fireworks. Not sure why the Symphony did not play for the entire time. The fireworks seemed to start late, but they also seemed to be in sync with the music.

Once it was over we headed home having found out that the game Peter's team was to play at 7:30 had been rescheduled, due to the rain, to Sunday morning at 8:00 AM!!!!

We made it to the game, a nice win with Peter pitching for the last two innings, and then took a nap for an hour and headed back to watch his next game. They won to take first place in their seeding after losing two games earlier. But they played a nice game, Peter pitched again shutting down a rally by the other team and proved something to himself and his coaches.

Monday, Nancy and I took the Ernie and Peter to the zoo for the afternoon, coming full circle in a way. For those who do not know, that was where Nancy and I had our first date last November.

We had a lot of fun, a ton of laughs and took a bunch of pictures. We will share when we get them all together.

Additionally, Matt was in Atlantic City this weekend with one of the teams he plays with for a tournament. They started slow losing their first two, but winning the last two. Matt told me he did not have a good game behind the plate on Saturday, but on Sunday came in as a reliever and got a save with three innings of one run ball.

Here is a four-minute video with highlights of the Sunset Symphony all mashed together and then....of course, some Four Tops!


Oh, the mix from this weekend..."Lady Is A Tramp" Frank Sinatra, "Spinning Wheel" Blood Sweat & Tears, "Crossroads" Elmore James, "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" Dean Martin, "When The Whip Comes Down" Rolling Stones, "This Ain't No Rag, It's A Flag" Charlie Daniels Band, "Fly Like An Eagle" Steve Miller Band.

Coming up this week on DR. BLOGSTEIN’S RADIO HAPPY HOUR:
(Live on Tuesday May 27th at 9PM ET and forever archived at BlogTalkRadio.)

Dr. B and Dangerous Lee welcome Judge Alex E. Ferrer of TV’s Judge Alex.
judge-alex.jpgJudge Alex is the only television judge with extensive police, legal and judicial experience, presiding over a wide array of cases, resolving complicated issues with his straight forward approach and cogent rulings. He’s also a Cuban refugee, fleeing Fidel Castro’s Communist regime at when he was one year old.

Then, Dr. B’s buddy Frank “franQ” Anthonybandfagscover300dpi.jpg Polito will stop by to discuss his new book “Band Fags“. The book, which is a semi-autobiographic coming-of-age while coming-out story, includes a chapter that takes place at a Judy Tenuta show.

We’ll find out just how semi-autobiographic the book is, whether franQ has plans to get gay married in California and we’ll play a round of “Are You Gayer Than a franQ Grader“\

Also, musician Celeste Lear, known to her friends as “One-Ear Lear” because she is deaf in one ear, will stop by to play some tunes and to talk about her famous grandfather, inventor of the Lear Jet and the 8-Track.

All that, plus Vinny Bond drags his Big Leather Couch into the Radio Happy Hour Lounge to chat live with the listeners, Justin the Weatherman and we’ll take your calls at 646-652-4804.

Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM ET. The Radio Happy Hour Lounge-a live chat room during show time-is a whole new reason to make sure you listen live! It’s the show within the show!

20 Of Your Sparks

  1. Dana Says:
  2. Wow! Thank you for sharing your weekend - it sounds fabulous!

  3. DANA: Thanks... the music mix is up and working!

  4. Travis Cody Says:
  5. Very cool! The Topps sounded pretty good. And the Symphony was terrific.

    We used to go to a concert in the park every Thursday evening when I lived in California. Same kind of deal with picnics set up on the grass in front of the stage.

    Fun stuff!

  6. Liz Hill Says:
  7. Sounds great sugar. Glad y'all had fun.

  8. What a weekend, Vinny! Happy Memorial Day! I just love Judge Alex - didn't know he was a Cuban refugee, how interesting!

  9. It poured here all weekend and still sucks =(

    Glad you had fun! Kidlet was at Sasquatch Festival and I played Fangirl/Bitch Hermit all weekend =)

  10. It sounds like quite a show. Definitely worth sitting through the rain for.

  11. Tug Says:
  12. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, all things considered! Glad to hear there were no funnel clouds and you were able to ride out the storm.

  13. Fred Says:
  14. You see more acts in one weekend than I think I've seen in my entire life. It sounds like a good time, though, except for the storm.

    Fruit salad and beer. I may have to give it a try.

    I actually listened to you last week on BlogTalkRadio. Great to hear you after all these years.

  15. Sounds great and wet! Glad it went well...

  16. TRAVIS: it was a blast

    TURNBABY: TY...wanna go next year?

    THE TEACH: Hope your's went well also and happy birthday

    STARRLIGHT: Nothing wrong with hermiting for a weekend

    RWA: It certainly was...wanna go next year?

    TUG: Yup...great time - no being sucked into a cloud...good things...

    FRED: LOL well it is Memphis in May! OOO a new listener...next you can call in!

    BUD: Fantastic time

  17. TopChamp Says:
  18. YEY for trumpets!

    It sounds great.

  19. Ralph Says:
  20. That potato salad sounds great, and Dos Equis Amber or Lager is an excellent accompaniment to any outdoor food.

    The Four Tops? Sugar Pie Honey Bunch!

    Nothing wrong with a summer storm on a hot day...with the payoff cool breeze afterwards.

  21. Lu' Says:
  22. Dang! Busy weekend. The concert sounds like such a good time. We used to go to a blues festival in southern Ca. until they started not allowing coolers.

  23. Unknown Says:
  24. Sounds like y'all had a kickin' time!

  25. Sparky Duck Says:
  26. Good to see Lamar still has something going on. Now, about that fried chicken?

  27. TOPCHAMP: LOL knew you would like it

    LU': It was a full weekend! I was tired today.

    DANA: It sure was

    SPARKY: LOL - Yes? What would you like to know about the chicken?

  28. Wow! What a post ... and so many couches.

  29. Coco Says:
  30. sounds like a winner of a weekend! loved the account of the concert and after all, what's a little rain? *grins*

  31. katherine. Says:
  32. lots of fun and excitement!

    I love outdoor concerts....even with 57 minutes of rain...smile.

    I am reminded of that song...."its all happening at the zoo...."


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