Uncle Jim Rocks Alabama Kids
Last week I had the good fortune to play another Parrothead related Uncle Jim Show in Jacksonville, AL. The Uncle Jim team had the opportunity to play to, and rock with, 800 elementary students and teachers from the Kitty Stone elementary school. Many of you had the opportunity to follow the show live on FaceBook.
This show came about when Trop Rock legend Bry Harris was talking to a fellow Parrothead who was relaying a bullying incident at school involving his grandson. Bry told him about the Uncle Jim focus and it wasn’t long before we were booking the show. The other Parrothead, Derek Raulerson is a member of the Jacksonville City Council and he convinced the Council to appropriate funds to cover the show. Many thanks to Derek and the City of Jacksonville!
With my wheel-man, Uncle Jim team member Patrick, cruising through rural America, I have an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty of our nation that we sometimes take for granted. As we drove through one of the small towns the median of the main drag was filled with row after row of the local citizens who had given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. It was, to say the least, breathtaking.
During the Uncle Jim show, I tell the kids that when their mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters go across the world as members of our armed forces, they are fighting to defend our constitution. Then I weave the Preamble of the Constitution into the anti-bully theme, that as citizens, we are here to form a more perfect union, establish justice and insure the blessings of liberty to each other.
Where was I? Oh yeah, driving into Jacksonville. Patrick and I checked into the Hampton Inn and were greeted by two lovely Parrothead desk clerks who were happy to have us as guests. We met Derek, our host, at the school for set up and found a man who is absolutely a power plant of energy. He has an infectious smile and a quick solution for any matter that needed attention.
Following the set-up and sound check our host took us to a Tuscan restaurant called Effina’s. The owner and chef, Steve Landers is, you guessed it, a Parrothead! They’re everywhere and the world is better because of that. The food was to die for. As a Coral Reefer we have the opportunity to eat at some of the finest restaurants in the world and Effina’s with Chef Steve at the stove, has it going on.
The school year is coming to an end and the kids were ready for something other than being in the classroom and were absolutely and totally ready to rock. When I asked the 6th graders if anyone wanted to hula hoop I expected a few hands to go up. Instead, I got stampeded by 40 kids running up on stage and we had only 7 Hula Hoops. “Calling all Parrotheads, send more Hula Hoops!” ☺ The kids danced and sang along and we had a blast. We ended the show with my song “Schmoopie” and a conga line which included the teachers leading their classes around the theater and back to their classrooms.
Many thanks to our special guests, Bry Harris and Alabama native and guitar sensation Todd Simpson. The show was covered by the ABC news affiliate from Birmingham and I did a lengthy interview with a local print media person.
We pulled out of Jacksonville with a car full of gear and hearts full of gratitude. It is fantastic spreading the IM4U message around and sending the kids off into summer with a party and a purpose. Something y’all know a lot about!
Patrick dropped me at the Nashville airport and I caught a flight up to Boston. More on that later.
We will be seeing you real soon my Phriends!
Posted at 11:04 AM7:22 PM
May 29, 2012