Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hwy 61 Revisitied

Kate’s home town of Red Wing, MN welcomed us with open arms. After a quick explanation to Kathy Silverthorn from the local visitors’ bureau of what the tour was all about, we soon received a string of emails from the Chief of Police, the Public Works Dept., and Brian Bombach who coordinated the blocking of a string of parking spaces for us in Downtown Red Wing. Everyone was enthusiastic about having us and on Saturday morning we set up our show by a colorful mural in the Historic District of this well preserved Mississippi River town. The town sits on Hwy 61 and houses the boys reform school about which Bob Dylan penned his famous song.

As we got ready to open, a little old gentleman stood patiently waiting. He must have been in his eighties, and had read about us in the local newspaper. As soon as we were ready for guests, he politely asked if he could come in and take a look. He was completely intrigued, and was particularly interested in the composting toilet. He poked around for awhile and soon whipped out a digital camera for a few pictures.

The downtown was busy that day with out of town tourists who flock to the town in the summer to go antique shopping and spend a day by the river. The newspaper had done a story on us a few days earlier, and this brought a steady stream of locals, including some of Kate’s old friends from school.

As we were getting ready to close, the little old gentleman who had been our first visitor of the day came back. “Remember me?” he asked. “I went home and talked to the wife, and we have a few more questions about the toilet” he told me. With a smile on my face, I answered his questions, and as he ambled off into the distance, I realized that this is when the shows become truly rewarding. Thank you to the City and the people of Red Wing for having us.

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