Saturday, November 12, 2011

Andy's Dummies, Longs, and the Dunk

Blasting out of Moncton, NB, at a fairly slow rate this morning. After breakfast the highway opens up under us. We gas up. The weather has improved, and the money we each made last night is all but spent and forgotten.

Bound for the Confederation Bridge, which will carry us to our dates on Prince Edward Island, we see some old signs on barns and sheds. "Andy's Dummies." These look really old and weathered, and I wondered if they were left over from some circus act long, long ago. Yet here and there are signs which appear to be a little newer. Handmade signs. "Eight miles to Andy's Dummies." "Five miles to Andy's Dummies." Some of these are pretty much hidden in the bushes on the roadside. Spotting them becomes a game for us... But then... What! There it is! Turn Here For Andy's Dummies." I hit the brakes and the Lincoln skids to a halt in a cloud of dust and oil smoke. "Should we?" "Well, yeah!!"

We make the turn onto a little sideroad. It's not far to a narrow, pothole filled drive which disappears into the bush... Should we? Well, yeah!

Hundreds of handmade signs adorn the trees on either side of the track.

At the end of the drive we see a small house, a shed, and an old school bus. We are met by a jolly gent with a white beard. Do we want to see the Dummies? Well, yes! If we made it up the drive we are in for the whole tour. "Step this way to the Museum," says our guide, leading us not to the shed or the house- but to the bus.

We clamber aboard and an amazing, unique show of folk art and oral history unfolds before us. This is indeed, Andy. And these are His Dummies. Andy's Dummies. Thirty-five years in the making. A rare piece of Canadiana. The National Gallery should buy this outright to save and preserve it.

Andy and a Dummie.

It would take hours to read all of the little buttons and signs!

Turtle born with a Baby's Arm.

One of the highlights of over 20,000 km of blue highways. Go visit Andy. Tell him Doc and Dave sent you!

One of the wonders of the modern world, the Confederation Bridge links Prince Edward Island to the mainland.

Long and McQuades awaits us. As a matter of fact, they DID await us. They expected us at 1:PM and our schedule said 3:30. Usually I call ahead, but today we were distracted by Andy's Dummies and didn't. Some 30 people showed up for the 1:PM workshop. We are truly sorry. Out of all these shows and workshops across Canada this is the ONLY one that has messed up. We do a workshop at 3:30 anyway, but only about a dozen people are here for it.

Workshop done, we are off to Breadalbane, to The Dunk. It's always a real pleasure to visit here. Pre-show we go to a nearby house warming party for dinner...

The show at the Dunk is really good. The place is full of new and old friends, and Dave and I give what is probably the best show of the Tour. We are aware that the end is coming up in just a few more shows, and we are taking it in ourselves. I don't review our own shows in the Blog, but from a personal point of view this is the best that we've done. Certainly one of the very best of some 300 shows together. It's been a real honour to work with Big Dave McLean. He's at the top of his game after a lifetime of writing and performing. We encore. We raffle a jacket. We're good and we recognize and enjoy the moment.

Jacket winner!!!
Later, these folks take us back into Charlottetown to hear a local band, Bad Habits. It's a very kind gesture. Usually Dave and I are too tired to do anything after our own shows. But these folks promise to drive us into town and get us back again as well. It is a wonderful, relaxing night for us. We return tired, but happy. We have a piece of home made pie, put the woodstove on, and lounge for a few minutes longer in its glow.


  1. Andy's Dummies ... worth going out of your way for a look!

    I thought you showed up late for your very important date ... in Pilger! But apparently that was meant to be, so we don't have to count it. I spent last weekend there, myself, helping Joanne load up her treasures to move to southern Alberta ... perhaps Milk River will be a tour stop for you boys next time around.

    Sorry to hear the tour is coming to an end, because it means you won't be blogging. Darn it.

  2. We actually showed up three or four hours early for our date in Pilger. Joanne is an amazing woman, and we wish her well on her new adventures.

  3. Probably quite a few more blogs yet on this tour- filling the gaps, updating and adding text, and then wrapping the Tour details. I may or may not do a blog for the Feb-March tour of the north. Not as many following the blog this year, so I'm not sure if it's worth the effort. And very few of the readers interact with the blog. It's always been my hope that people who came out to these shows would review them here. I can't review my own shows- I can only report what happened at them.