Day 1: June 4, 2015
Double Don Day

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I left home about 8:00 for a somewhat rare destination-oriented all-expressway drive. I say "destination-oriented" because reaching Asbury Park sometime Friday was the only thing on my agenda. That did change slightly during a gas stop in Zanesville, Ohio. By the time I moved on, the day's target had changed from "some random motel near midpoint halfway" to a specific point in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Of course, West Virginia looks pretty good even from the interstate and the sky helped. This picture is from just west of Morgantown on I-79.

In Morgantown itself, I stopped long enough to check out Don Knotts' star in front of the Metropolitan Theatre.

Here's that target I established back in Zanesville and here's the story. There's a good chance that anyone reading this knows that I'm a big Dirk Hamilton fan. Some may even recall my aborted plan to see Don Evans, a member of Dirk's old band last October. So I'm listening to a little Dirk as I'm driving and it suddenly occurs to me that I'll be passing kind of close to Don's home turf. I figured that, it being Thursday, the chances of finding him playing somewhere were pretty slim but I took a look on my next fuel stop. Not only was Don playing, he was playing in a place that would add less than an hour to my travel time. The closest thing to a negative was that I would have to drive most of the way to Asbury Park on the first day rather than splitting it evenly but that wasn't a big deal and it was so worth it.

I've heard plenty of Don's guitar work and I've seen some videos but that's just not quite the same. He would not have his band tonight but would be accompanied by an excellent bassist named John French. I lucked into a seat at the bar which put me about as close as possible. The picture of John and Don may be crappy but it does prove I was had the best seat in the house. The great music would have been enough but there was more. For one thing, Don and I got to chat quite a bit and he proved to be darned friendly. John, too. The local couple next to me were just as friendly. Besides some good conversation, they were the ones who let me know that the place, Gypsy Saloon, was known for its "Lobster Mac and Cheese" so I verified that the reputation was deserved. Like many smaller venues, the performers here have a TV screen at their backs which I can really do without. In this case, it was at least tolerable as it was showing a local baseball game in which the Reds beat the Phillies.

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