St. Louis/St. Charles was the second stop, but the first concert stop beginning a whirlwind of activities for a large number of people, culminating in the concert at the Rosemont Theatre on Monday, October 1st. Riverport Ampitheatre was to be the first time that Mark Wilson, who had traveled all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa, would ever see the Guess Who perform. As we like to say, he was losing his GW concert virginity that night.
Arrival times and meeting places were carefully orchestrated (I was arriving from Phoenix on Wednesday, Mark was arriving from South Africa on Thursday, Ray was arriving from Minnesota on Friday, Clare was arriving from Edmonton via Toronto on Saturday morning, Ruth Ann was arriving from Michigan Saturday morning), and travel from the O'Hare area to Midway was planned. After my picking Clare up at O'Hare (how could he miss the red Jeep with "Guess Who" painted on the back windows along with a "Guess Who Concert or Bust" sign...and he was standing on the curb waving a Bucky Beaver sign) we all met up at my sister's house.
Alas, we found out that Ray was stuck somewhere with car problems, and would not make the St. Louis leg of the trip. No problemo! I (an Arizonan for the past 16 years) was relegated to driving us from the northwest side of Chicago to the southeast side of Chicago, with a Canadian and a South African as my navigators (at least Clare didn't keep screaming that I was driving on the wrong side of the road *LOL*), based on verbal directions from my sister (never, ever, ever get driving directions from my sister)...yet somehow we arrived at the airport on time and safely.
At the airport, we were waiting in this ridiculously long line, when a sweet guy named Mauro asked who did not have luggage to check, and took over taking care of us. Uh oh...another snag. Mark Wilson had no photo ID...he had left his driver's license at home in S.A. (he wasn't going to be driving) and had left his passport at his host's house because he had been warned of pickpockets. It took some schmoozing and smooth talking, but Mauro came through for us and got a supervisor to agree to let Mark on the plane if Mauro escorted us all the way to the gate. Another snag taken care of. At this time, we found Ruth Ann, and she was whisked through with the rest of us. Next snag? My six rolls of hi-speed 35mm film. Security at Midway would NOT hand check them through. This time, talking didn't work, and I was forced to go back to the ticketing counter with Mauro to have the film boxed up and checked, now causing us to have luggage to wait for. It's amazing that some airports will hand check film of 800 speed or faster, as the x-ray machines will destroy it, yet other airports won't. Thank god for Mauro. Oh...Mark and Clare and I all got frisked because we look so very dangerous.
The rest of the trip was uneventful, and we quickly found The Living Legend/Jim (plus sweet Nicky and Jimmy) at the St. Louis airport (the fact that he was holding up a "Guess Whooligans sign helped). After finally retrieving my precious film, we went out on the curb to wait for Rette, who was also coming to help transport the Chicago road-trippers to our hotel. Well, it turned out that Donna/DeliaDietz was the other designated driver, and it was great to meet her! Off to the hotel, where we freshened up briefly, and then it was off to dinner in St. Charles. Go to Page 1 for a pictoral of the rest of the trip.
SQ in AZ