Bob Ryan came to see me at the Iowa RockNRoll Music Museum the other day. He opened his new store just prior to the big IRRMA Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular weekend. Bob was delighted that so many people came in to enjoy his new venture. His shop is called Johnny Guitars and features a wonderful display of vintage guitars dating back as far as 1932. Not only does he sell vintage guitars but keyboards, assorted drums, amps, new strings and guitar parts, drumsticks as well as CDs and vinyls. He provides an emergency phone number on the door of Johnny's for musicians with a sudden need for guitar strings, etc. He says he can be there in less than 15 minutes. The shop phone number is 712-332-2148 and the store is located at 612 Hwy. 71 South in Arnolds Park (the antique mall). Browsing through those old guitars is a lesson in musical instrument history for even us non-musicians to enjoy.
My heartiest congratulations to Liberty Hall Collective! This band won the IRRMA Battle of the Bands state finals on Saturday afternoon in the Roof Garden. Liberty Hall is comprised of three young men who attend Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. They were not only talented but so nice to work with. They worked hard and really seemed to enjoy the opportunity to mingle with the "much older" Hall of Fame musicians.
I am proud of my grandson, Grant Masek,who was the youngest player in the IRRMA Guitar Marching Band Saturday. As you can see by the photo, standing next to his father (average height), he is a short nine-year-old who strapped on his bass guitar, hooked the amp to the back of his shorts and played along with all those much older pros. He had a great time and played pretty well for a beginner.
I tip my hat in deep respect to all you school bus drivers out there. I accompanied the RockNRoll Hall of Famers on a school bus ride from the music museum in Arnolds Park to the Sami Center in Spirit Lake on Sunday afternoon. Yes, we had a police escort going up there but the traffic was still bumper to bumper. It was miserably hot and humid and those buses are not air-conditioned. Jon Brekke of Spirit Lake was our driver. He was so patient and never once complained about anything. We had no official escort back and the traffic flow was slightly smoother. Thank you Jon! School is now in session so keep your eyes open. Give these buses and their drivers the respect and safety they need and deserve as they deliver our precious children and grandchildren to their destinations. Let us all have a safe school year on the roads.
I met many new friends and got reacquainted with many more over the weekend. Some of these Hall of Fame inductees and their families had never been here before. Although their roots were in Iowa, they live all over the country now. Some of the honored musicians had not had the opportunity to play this part of the state back in their day. Many, many of them came and told me how friendly and welcoming everyone in the Iowa Great Lakes Region was to them. The businesses and employees made them feel special. I did not hear one single complaint about our area, its businesses or people. It was so hot and humid, you would think tempers could get short but apparently not. I didn't hear about a single incident of unpleasantness. I am always proud to be a resident of the Iowa Great Lakes Region but this past holiday weekend, I could not have been prouder. Thank you to everyone for making it a weekend those honored guests and their families/fans will never forget!
The Campus Hotline comes to an end for 2015. Thank you to all of you who emailed or called information into me. This is your column too and many of you contributed to it. May each and every one of you fall, winter and spring well! See you next May?!!