A short story from March of 2001. I wrote this about noon and it had already been one of those days where I could see I had to go home and write this all down…
So after milking this morning I went down to the Mayo Civic Center be part of the local crew for a children’s touring show called "Wimsey's House". A sesame street type show in that people dress in fuzzy animal costumes and run around a lot. The show had loaded in the previous day in order to be ready for two performances today— 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM. This performance in Rochester was the last stop on this particular leg of the tour and the entire bunch; cast and crew were very eager for a vacation. Much silliness was about and, as was evident later, heavy drinking happened the previous night…
In the first act I was Dancing Flower #1.
The stage manager told us all, "Not a crazy, punk rock kind of dancing flower, but a happy I-won't-eat-the-little-children kind of flower dance. And remember, have fun... this is a kids show and if you take it too seriously you will go (expletive deleted) insane".
In Act II, he asked for volunteers who wanted to "have fun with a confetti cannon" and fire that off at the end of the show. I shot my hand up and was goin’ “Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Pick me! Pick me!” and it was pretty cool! Then, of course, I had to sweep the stage afterward.
Remember the heavy drinking I mentioned? As the characters would come off stage and remove their big fuzzy heads… the actors didn’t always look too well. They were suffering. I’ve worked several ‘Sesame Street Live’ shows. Backstage is a very interesting place. All these familiar fuzzy characters walking around without their heads… Big Bird hanging in the corner (well, his costume anyway) much sweat and lots of people sitting in front of fans… same thing at ‘Wimsey’s House’ only more so…and several with their heads between their knees.
So I get home and I can see a beef cow having trouble calving. The cow having trouble (we'll call her "Incognito" since she had lost her eartag and I don't remember who she was) was laying with her feet up hill and couldn't get up, so after I pulled a bull calf out of her I took hold of one of her back legs and tipped her over so her feet were down hill and she jumped right up and ran home. Did I mention it was raining and snowing out? Well it was and apparently she had had enough of this. I lectured her that this kid was hers and what about her responsibilities to it and to come back here but she didn’t listen, just ran home and got something to eat. So I humped the calf up on my shoulders and carried it 1/4 mile home. I put it in the barn with the milk cows in front of a recently fresh cow whose mothering instincts were still primed and tube fed the calf some artificial colostrum. It’ll be fine.
Tonight I will go back to the civic center for the load out of "Wimsey's House". I will probably end up on the rail doing counter-weights since that's what I did for the load in. Except we will be taking equipment and weights off instead of putting them on. I will remember my gloves tonight...
"LIFE—IT'S THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION"
March 9th 2001
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