This Past Weekend in California
Mon., Apr. 14. 2008 3:11pm EDT
With apologies to Forrest Gump, life may be like a box of chocolates, but our California trip this past Friday was more like a box of raisins -- short, sweet and jam-packed. That's appropriate; because the concert was held just a few miles from Selma CA, the raisin capital of the world, and we had to drive right through it to get to the venue in Lemoore CA.
Despite a nearby Women of Faith conference and a Sanctus Real concert, over 500 people crowded into South Valley Community Church to share the evening with us. They devoured all of the CDs and DVDs we brought, sending us home empty handed, but in a good way. Fans came from all over California, and longtime fan Len Muramota flew all the way from Hawaii to be there.
One 80-year-old woman named Kay came with many family members, including great grandchildren. She only regretted that her 96-year-old mother couldn't attend, because she doesn't care for loud music. But that didn't deter Kay, who was seen dancing enthusiastically to "Smooth Grandmama," which we dedicated to her.
Much like the state of California itself, the day had both peaks and valleys for our drummer, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner. On the way there, we had a layover in Las Vegas -- the city they named after him -- and the terminal had a spectacular view of the Pyramid, the Stratosphere, the MGM Grand and other famous landmarks. Later in the day, we flew into the Fresno airport, with a great big Sun Maid raisin display and Sun Maid raisin shirts for sale. Jimmy is one of the most easygoing guys you meet, but raisins are one of the few things in life he doesn't like.
Here are two emails from fans who attended:
I just wanted to say "thank you" for playing in Lemoore CA tonight. My wife and I loved it. It was an amazing show that greatly exceeded my expectations. I'm so proud of you guys and will be praying that you all are blessed immensely.
You were excellent in Lemoore! My first ApologetiX show and I was impressed! Bill plays great guitar. And everyone's so tight. Thanks for coming out to California!Special thanks to:
Arroyo Grande CA
Our concert coordinator: Kerry Udell, who holds the distinction of being the first NCAA football official and the first physiologist to ever promote one of our concerts. Originally from Calgary, Alberta (which we learned is actually pronounced "Cal-GARY" by the folks up there), Kerry has been living in the United States for almost 30 years. He met his wife while playing football at Washington State University. Although he was an atheist at the time, she was a Christian, so he started reading the Bible and pretending to be a Christian in hopes that she'd date him. Much to his surprise, the Bible so impressed him that he became a Christian himself.
Kerry sent these comments to us after the show:
Thanks for a fantastic show. I got a lot of calls while I was driving to and working in Sacramento today. Everybody who has called wanted me to express their thanks. They loved the concert, but they were also especially impressed by the time you all spent with them after the show. Many were impressed by how you took your time with each fan and how they didn't feel like they were being rushed so that you could move on to the next fan in the crowd. Our merchandise coordinator: Kerry's wife, Jane Udell, holds the distinction of being the first microbiologist to ever run our CD table.
You have all made some friends for life. We will be adding your band, ministry, and families to our daily prayer list and will be especially praying for your travels. We hope to have you back here soon, but next time I will try to arrange a bar-b-que feast for you.