Tuesday Funk: The Blizzard Edition

First off, I must say that I made it home and back safely.

There was some debate about whether or not this month's Tuesday Funk reading would even happen, what with the blizzard and all going on here in Chicago. Hopleaf's opinion was that snow doesn't tend to keep audiences away as much as rain does, so we should go ahead and do it.

And I have to say, they were right. At least in a sense.

The amp - click to view - mousewheel to zoom

With so much snow predicted to fall, I didn't want to take the car over to Clark Street, so I tied our bass amp up tight inside two blue garbage bags, picked up the mike stand, and staggered the (according to Google Maps) 0.8 miles from my house to Hopleaf, with the frigid wind blowing in my face most of the way. I stopped to rest once in the lee of an alley just about sixty feet from Ashland Avenue when I felt like I couldn't continue. After a couple of minutes, the final stretch no longer seemed so daunting, and soon enough I was warm inside Hopleaf, setting up the speaker and mike and enjoying a Chimay our bartender provided free of charge.

By this time, three of our five scheduled readers had written to bow out, owing to the storm. But I had already lined up myself and Jackie Adamski as standby readers, so, with Eden Robins and Brooke Wonders present, we ended up with four readers in all. Ten audience members, including our bartender John.

Tuesday Funk's amazing audience cozy during the blizzard

All I can say about the reading itself is, it was one of those amazing evenings that when you try later to describe it to people who weren't there, you inevitably fall back on the lame descriptor, "You had to be there." There's just something about being part of a group of people who actually showed up at an event that no one in their right mind would have attended. Being there was a badge of honor in and of itself. Reading there was like being part of a secret cabal solving world hunger and global warming.

The only truly hairy bit, for me, anyway, came on the cab ride home. Sondra Morin and I shared a cab, and once it became obvious that the driver wasn't all that familiar with driving in snow, and given the fact that the outside world was only barely visible through the icy windshield (and that much of that consisted of glowing traffic lights alternating with the revolving lights of ambulances and fire engines), we abandoned the idea that the driver would take us each home to our doorsteps. Instead, we settled on a major intersection midway between our homes, flung twenty bucks at the driver, and each made our separate way home through the foot-or-more-high drifts. Yes, at least a foot of snow had fallen between the time I set out and the time I returned home.

And do you know what? I wouldn't trade the evening for anything, including having sat at home warm and cozy in front of the fire with a good book. Tuesday Funk rocked the free world tonight. Ten people know it, and the rest of you will just have to take our word for it.