Sunday, August 28, 2016

Flying flamingos, hamburgers and bananas: It's the Aquabats!

I'm still recovering from 3 weeks ago and 
another amazing night in Provo at our Rooftop Concert Series.
*My friend Nate, our Production Director snapped this shot from high up in a cherry picker.
A huge crowd filled with fans of all ages.
Fun to see so many parents with their young children on their shoulders
(many of whom were wearing The Aquabat costume or shirts or goggles)
there to see The Aquabats who had been part of these parents' college memories.
See more photos at

 ('That Singer Guy' gave me his autograph.)

We had a blast meeting these funny guys.
They formed as a band over 22 years ago in Orange County, California
and have created quite the fan base across the country.
They take on personas as superheros headed by the Bat Commander.
Their songs are fun and catchy. Easy to sing along.
It was a communal experience for sure!

 Tons of energy and silliness prevailed through out their set.
I obviously had a great 'seat.'

 The Bat Commander (Christian Jacobs) is fantastic.
(It was neat to learn that he had served an LDS mission in Japan and that his good friend, 
and former mission companion Chris, who is married to our own founder of Rooftop,
had arranged for them to come perform this concert.)
Christian is also a former Hollywood child actor and created the popular
children's show
'Yo Gabba Gabba' 
on Nickelodeon Jr.

 Exhausted after giving their all, the band leaves the stage...

 But were still kind enough to greet some fans, give some hugs and take some selfies.

 Courtney and Cammy created some festive wall art and table fun
 drawing their own versions of the band's famous logo.
The Aquabats were delighted by the personal touches in the greenroom.

We had a last minute change having to move from our regular spot (the ballroom)
to another space (the pavilion),
However,everything worked out well and it was a beautiful location.

 And the bands and their guests loved the view!

The Bat Commander got a kick out of the fact that our dinner (provided by Good Thyme)
included 'tiny burgers' which was a shout out to a moment in their television series,
(where Season One can be seen on Netflix).
*In fact, during the concert several large blown-up 'beach ball' hamburgers were flying
throughout the audience.

Our two opening bands were fantastic as well.
Mad Max and the Wild Ones, some excellently talented brothers 
treating us to some great rockabilly,
and the reunion of My Man Friday who formed their band in Provo 20 years ago,
and were reuniting just for this show after not playing together in over eight years.
(I was lucky enough to grab this photo before they went on stage.)
I enjoyed meeting many of their families and children, who were all very gracious.
It was neat to see the warmth between all these old friends who had gone their separate ways
but were here to share the stage again.
And wow! They sounded as slick as they had all those years ago.
Another awesome night for the records!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Where did July go?

Cammy turned seventeen.

 Caitlyn flew in to surprise her and stayed a couple of short days.

 Another Rooftop Concert to kick of Independence Day weekend.
(Courtney worked her magic with her art talents in making the greenroom festive.)

 Another delicious dinner prepared by Good Thyme on Center Street in Provo.

 Another of my favorite bands 
 headlined our show.
They have been touring the country this year and making lots of fans!
Lead singer Brady Parks is a talented and humble man.
Loved visiting with him and the other band members, as well as meeting his parents
who flew in from Colorado to see the show.

 Opening our show was my friend Mindy Gledhill and her brother-in-law Dustin's
new 80's inspired band, Hive Riot.
(I felt like a middle-aged munchkin sandwich here.)

 Every July I attend the BYU Books for Young Readers Symposium.
I have been attending for 29 years.
(Give or take a few I missed.)
I love children's books.
(It was a treat to meet and chat with Molly Idle, a former DreamWorks animator,
and now children's book author/illustrator. She was a hoot!)
 Our friend Ashley joined Courtney and I this year.
She and Courtney are reviewers for the well-read blog:
Reading for Sanity. (See my sidebar to connect.)
 Who can pass up a photo op with a pink flamingo?
 BYU and the Provo Library always do a fantastic job of hosting.
 Ashley and Courtney were so exited to meet author Elizabeth Wein 
who wrote one of their favorite books, a World War II based novel
'Code Name Verity.'
Ms. Wein had a fascinating life story to share.
She lives in Scotland.

 I also attended a benefit production at the Hale Center Theatre in Orem 
of a remounting of the musical Xanadu which was directed by my friend and directing idol
Christopher Clark who was recently diagnosed with ALS.
Most of the original cast flew in for the rehearsals/performances. 
Many are presently performing on Broadway and in other major theatres around the country.
It was fantastic and I haven't gut-laughed so hard in a long time.
It was wonderful to get a hug afterwards from Chris and his lovely wife Lisa.
They are remarkable, humble and grateful people who are handling this 
devastating challenge with grace and humor.
I just love them!

Coryn and Scott flew to Iceland for a week.
They had a spectacular adventure and it was fun to see all their beautiful photos.

Also, every year for many years, my sweet 79 year old friend Jan
hosts a 'Christmas in July' tea party for me and another friend, Barbara.
(We have missed Barbara the past two summers as she and her husband are serving
an LDS mission presently in Washington DC South working with young military families.)
Jan always makes everything so lovely with a theme, music, and delicious food,
but most importantly, the conversation and time together.

I continue to enjoy serving in the Provo City Center Temple.
I took this photo a few weeks ago after leaving my shift.
It was a bright and hot sunny day.
July was joyous.