Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Woodstock, NB: The Fusion Cafe

Well, yes, I'm better rested. And after a classic breakfast at Jean's Diner I'm ready for action. The late autumn was going to make a serious play for winter eventually- and here we go. Winter storm warnings. Up to 25 cm expected... With an extra large Tim's on the dash- and a full tank of gas- I set out. In good weather I'd have about a three hour drive on this quality, divided highway. Today, I wouldn't be surprised if they closed the road. The trick is to get on it before that happens...

I'm on the TransCanada. Several hours into this drive there is still no sign of snow removal equipment, salting or sanding gear. In fact, I'm very much alone out on this white and wooly road. The Lincoln is NOT a great snow car. The big ass end of her will slide at even gentle acceleration. I try to keep things very, very steady. Most of this trip is at 45 or even 50 km, with occasional white-outs as the giant, semi trucks push their way by. With zero visibility, I look out the side window, at the ditch, to try and keep the car going straight. I wonder if these drivers have the slightest clue of the peril they present to other traffic in weather such as this?

My ride to Woodstock, NB is about five and a half hours. I'm happy to arrive at the Fusion Cafe, park, and get off this crazy road. I'm also happy that they've got a new PA. I won't have to carry mine in through the ice and snow. As it turns out, there is a missing power cable, but I happen to have one. That's one reason I travel with this little back-up system- I never get left without gear I need to make a show happen. I could even pull the car battery and run the whole thing through the DC/AC power converter. If the room lost power I'd be up and running in 20 minutes. Brownie McGhee taught me how to use a soldering gun many, many years ago. I was permanently impressed with how he was prepared and equipped to deal with nearly any problem that might come up. I think about him once in a while. He was a kind and beautiful man. A self-made man, like so many of the old school artists. I still meet members of his family every once in a while... Anyway, I do think of him whenever I reach for that spare power cable, adaptor, mic clip, or the soldering gun.

Meanwhile, the snow seems to have subsided a little, but the roads remain clogged outdoors. I'm set up in short order. After soup and sandwich I do a little internet work and wait. The place seems pretty quiet for the dinner hour. Folks from out in the country have called in to cancel reservations. I'm prepared for the slow night that follows. Two informal sets for about a dozen people. Everyone is very friendly. A few fans from previous visits, a few new friends. By the time I'm packed up and taken to my quarters I'm ready for sleep. Enough snow for one day!

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