Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
61,505
as of December 7, 2021

<< Back to the fan club


Search Past News:

Sort by Relevance Date

Yesterday's News:

12.05.21In Memoriam: Chris VonBartheld
12.04.21Good News Prayer Update for ApX Fan Bill Turner
12.04.21New Single: '83 & '84
12.04.21CVB of ApX Needs Much Prayer
12.04.21Go Christmas Shopping with an ApologetX Alumnus
12.04.21Bible-Reading Update: Jeremiah 28-Ezekiel 12
12.03.21Influential Albums: 568-574
12.03.21Improvements Made on Another Recent Single
12.03.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 20h Single
11.29.21Get Over 1425 Tracks for $100 This Week
11.29.21Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
11.27.21Christmas Playlist: A Month's Worth of Parodies
11.27.21Influential Albums: 561-567
11.27.21Kansas Fan Lists Her ApX Top 10
11.27.21How to Help the Studio Where We Record (It's Free)
11.27.21New USBs Include New CD and Latest Single
11.23.21This Week's News Bulletin
11.20.21This Week's ApX Radio Show: Thanksgiving
11.20.21How to Get the New ApX Digital Interactive Songbook
11.20.21How to Donate Online or by Mail
11.20.21How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
11.20.21Wyoming Fan Lists Her ApX Top 10
11.20.21Prayer Update on Bill Turner
11.19.21Influential Albums: 554-560
11.16.21This Week's News Bulletin
11.13.21Influential Albums: 547-553
11.13.21New CD BOGO Extended by Request
11.13.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 19th Single
11.08.21New Single ('80 & '84)
11.06.21We Changed Two Songs on Our Last Two Singles
11.06.21Serious Prayer Update: Bill Turner
11.05.21Influential Albums: 540-546
11.03.21This Week's News Bulletin
10.30.21Happy Prayer Request Update: Bill Turner
10.30.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 18th Single
10.30.21Influential Albums: 533-539
10.25.21New Single: '86 & '89
10.22.21Four Members Celebrate ApX Anniversaries
10.22.21Sad Prayer Request Update: Angela Walker
10.22.21Influential Albums: 526-532
10.21.21Clues for 2021 Single #18
10.16.21Prayer Request Updates: Angela Walker & Bill Turner
10.15.21Another Rieger Daughter Becomes a Bride
10.15.21Influential Albums: 519-525
10.14.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 17th Single
10.13.21New Single: '85 & '86
10.09.21Updated on Three Prayer Requests from Last Week
10.08.21Influential Albums: 512-518
10.08.21What's on the Never, but Then Again Before CD?
10.04.21This Week's News Bulletin
10.03.21Important Prayer Requests from Three Fans
10.03.21Influential Albums: 505-511
10.02.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 16th Single
09.30.21More Info on the Upcoming ApologetiX CD
09.28.21New Single: 80's Solo Superstars
09.25.21Next CD Coming Next Month
09.25.21Influential Albums: 498-504
09.25.21New USB Flash Drives Include New CD & Single
09.20.21Couple Will Match All Donations Thru Thursday
09.17.21Urgent Prayer Request for Bill Turner
09.17.21From a Native American ApX Fan in Montana
09.17.21Influential Albums: 491-497
09.17.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 15th Single
09.15.21New Single: 80's One-Hit Wonders (Almost)
09.12.21Clues for 2021 Single #15
09.12.21Influential Albums: 484-490
09.07.21This Week's News Bulletin
09.04.21Super Sentiments from 16 States & Saskatchewan
09.04.21Another Praise Report from Darnell Cline
09.04.21No Single This Wkd: Here's Why & What's in the Works
09.04.21Influential Albums: 477-483
08.27.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 14th Single
08.27.21Influential Albums: 470-476
08.24.21New Single: 2 from 1986
08.22.21New CD BOGO Ends Wednesday
08.22.21Big Bunch o' Books: What J.'s Been Reading Lately
08.20.21Influential Albums: 463-469
08.16.21This Week's News Bulletin
08.14.21Influential Albums: 456-462
08.14.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 13th Single
08.10.21New Single: 2 Top 10 Hits from 1985
08.07.21Rich Gets Quick: Fastest ApX Member to 100 Songs
08.07.21Influential Albums: 449-455
08.07.21New CD in Stock: Buy 1, Get 1 of 33 CDs Free
08.02.21This Week's News Bulletin
07.30.21More Prayer Needed for Darnell Cline
07.30.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 12th Single
07.30.21Influential Albums: 442-448
07.27.21New Single: More Mid-80's Music
07.25.21Influential Albums: 435-441
07.25.21What's on the Get Rich Quick CD?
07.22.21This Week's News Bulletin
07.17.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 11th Single
07.16.21Father of the Bride (and Father of the Bride 2)
07.16.21More Info on the Upcoming ApologetiX CD
07.16.21Influential Albums: 428-434
07.12.21New 80's Single: #1 Hit and a One-Hit Wonder
07.10.21Darnell Cline: Encouragement from Other ApX Fans
07.10.21Update on Last Week's Appeal Letter
07.10.21Get Ready for Our 62nd CD

Nice Ice Baby: Last Weekend in Alaska
Mon., Jan. 2. 2006 2:07am EST

Well, we've finally played all 50 states! They call Alaska "The Final Frontier," and that's certainly what it was for us in terms of the United States. It took almost 14 years, but we made up for lost time, playing three concerts in Soldotna, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, giving us a total of 103 concerts in 34 states in 2005. Hey, we were on the fast track. It took the United States 173 years to add Alaska to its list of states and 174 years to get all 50; we did it in less than one tenth of the time!

It was well worth the wait. Alaska was every bit as beautiful as we'd been cold ... er ... told. Actually, although all of Alaska was snowy, Soldotna and Anchorage were relatively mild, not much worse than it was back in our hometown of Pittsburgh. In fact, the kids in Soldotna were wearing shorts and flip flops to our concert Thursday night!

Now, our final stop, Fairbanks, had the Alaska weather you'd expect -- 8 degrees below zero and snow everywhere. To top it off, the concert was sponsored by North Pole Christian School! The second-largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks is eight hours north of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Ironically, they tell us that Fairbanks can get warmer than Anchorage in the summer, with temperatures as high as 90 degrees, because Anchorage's location near the ocean keeps the temperatures more moderate.

Speaking of the ocean, we got to see plenty of that on our way to Soldotna for our first Alaskan concert. Soldotna is located on the Kenai Peninsula, and there's only one road there, with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. It would be less than hour from Anchorage if you could drive it directly, but the rough terrain makes that impossible.

They tell us that the road to Soldotna is usually is packed with ice covered by a layer of snow this time of year, but unseasonably warm weather made it not quite so bad. That's comforting, because they say the locals drive the same speed on that road whether it's ice-and-snow-covered or not. There was still plenty of snow, rain, slush, and ice to contend with, however -- not to mention early nightfall (this time of year, there's only a few hours of sunlight), and narrow and winding roads -- and the drive took three hours.

By the time the last two band members (we took different flights because of holiday schedules and limited seating) arrived in Soldotna, there was a long line of people waiting to get in, although the weather didn't seem to bother them. Soldotna was "sold-out-now." Youth pastor Thad White, who coordinated the show, had told us several weeks ago that not many national bands, Christian or otherwise, make it up to Anchorage, let alone Soldotna, and that we wouldn't play for a more enthusiastic crowd, and he was correct. We've since learned that Audio Adrenaline will be playing in the area in the near future, so we're glad to be trendsetters.

After the Soldotna show, we stayed at the host church's lodge, which was a great experience. They even had a gourmet chef (no, that wasn't part of our contract demands) come in and make us a magnificent Alaska breakfast of eggs, sourdough pancakes, and more bacon then you've ever seen in your life. The lodge had a genuine bear rug on the wall, and genuine moose prints in the snow outside the window. Some of our party got to see moose in the wild on the drive back to Anchorage on Friday. The rest of of us saw two moose walking across the freeway in downtown Anchorage the same day!

We learned quite a bit more about Alaska while we were in Anchorage on Friday. Pastor Jim Brenn, whose church hosted the concert, informed us that Minnesota's boast of 10,000 lakes has nothing on Alaska, which has 3 million lakes larger than 20 acres! He jokingly noted that he likes to remind Texans that the Alaskans might just split their state in half someday so there will be two states that are bigger than Texas, rather than just one :) Pastor Jim was also the chaplain for the Washington Redskins in the early 1980's, encompassing their trips to Super Bowls XVII and XVIII, and he has an autographed picture of Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs in his office.

We carried on a New Year's Eve tradition of bringing our wives (Krista Haynie, Bonnie Hubauer, Lisa Jackson, Deb Messner, and Eve Tanner) along, no matter how distant the venue. Before we had so many children in our families it was lot easier for our wives to come to many concerts, but these days, most of the concerts they get to attend are the ones in Western Pennsylvania and occasionally in surrounding states.

We also carried on an unintentional streak started of playing eight straight New Year's Eve concerts in eight different states. Since 1998, we've played New Year's Eve in Baltimore MD, Houston TX, Philadelphia PA, Rochester NY, Seattle WA, Belle Fourche SD, Smithland KY, and now Fairbanks AK.

On the way home, the Jacksons and Haynies flew out early in the morning, followed by the Hubauers, and then the Messners and Tanners in the afternoon. During a five-hour layover in Anchorage, Messners and Tanners were picked up by ApologetiX fan Frank Curry and treated to a gourmet dinner by another gourmet chef named Richard, who had been at Friday's concert. He and his wife, Cari, held the meal at their house, and others from the Friday concert were also in attendance. After that, they took Messners and Tanners on a driving tour of Anchorage, wrapping it up with a visit to the 16-foot snowman in some guy's yard!

It really blew our minds to find long-time ApologetiX fans at each of our three Alaska tour stops. We even met a fan, Kathy Rudolph, on our flight from Minneapolis to Anchorage, and she came to Friday's concert. But the prize for longest-time fan has to go to Kim Eames, who has been a fan so long that she was a newsletter subscriber back when we sent it with stamps! Her first ApologetiX album was the "Radical History Tour" cassette! Kim and her husband, Dennis, have been waiting to see us for over a decade. Kim works as a customer service agent for Alaska Airlines and was there to greet us when we arrived in Fairbanks. Not only that, she sent us home with a huge Copper River salmon Dennis caught himself. Thanks for everything, Kim, and thanks for the fish, Dennis!

As we told Kim, when we first heard from her years ago, we never dreamed we'd ever make it to Alaska, let alone all 50 states. God is amazing and is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Thank you, Lord!

Thanks also to:

- Thad, Michal, Riley and the amazing Tyler White and Pastor Alan & Miriam Humphries for sponsoring our Soldotna concert and for acting as our chauffeurs and tour guides.

- Dave Taylor and Pastor Jim Brenn for sponsoring our Anchorage concert and for bringing Karl's guitar to the airport the next morning when we discovered it was missing! Also to Glen Pruitt for opening for us.

- Chuck & Donna Lincoln and North Pole Christian School for sponsoring our Fairbanks concert and running the ApologetiX shuttle to and from the hotel, the restaurant, and the airport.

- Thanks to our wives for their help at the CD table, too.

We also took lots of pictures, and some are online already, with more to come soon. Things look promising for a return trip to Alaska, so if you missed us this time around, we hope to see you next time. And if you saw us this time, we definitely want to see you again!