Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bix 7 2009: Margaret meets Elvis, the Wiener, Michael Jackson lookalike

This year marked the 35th Anniversary of the Bix7 run/walk. It's named after Bix Beiderbecke, a famous jazz trumpet player from the early 20th Century. The Bix7 is run during the same week as the Bix Memorial Jazz Festival and numerous other summer activities in Davenport, Ia.

My personal bartender Margaret had never done the Bix and asked if I would walk the 7 mile course with her. I agreed with trepidation. When you think of Iowa, you don't think of hills, but the beginning of the course is 1/2 mile at a very steep incline. It tends to intimidate the uninitiated. I convinced Margaret to begin walking 2 miles every day and to try the hill on for size a couple times. Mission accomplished, and we were as race ready as we could be. I had already walked the Bix 4 times before, so I knew what to expect.

With about 18000 participants, we were grouped by estimated 1 mile pace, or, in the case of us walkers, back with the Elvis impersonators, Oscar Meyer Wiener, Michael Jackson lookalikes, and the Palmer Chiropractic College spine, 1 person per vertabra, decked out in molded styrofoam.

Race day broke party cloudy, in the 60's with low humidity. Perfect. Margaret and I assumed our position, and the gun went off. 10 min later, we reached the starting line.

2:50 later we reached the finish, but we were so far behind that the electronic timing apparatus had already been disassembled. Nothing but our memories and a few photos to mark our passing. Here they are. Margaret the gregarious one couldn't resist being caught for posterity with the attending celebrities.


Part of the Palmer Chiropractic Spine

Margaret and an Army unit from Clinton, IA

Margaret with a select group of Elvis impersonators

Margaret with the Oscar Meyer Wiener

Margaret with the Michael Jackson Dance-A-Like winner

Friday, July 10, 2009

Performers flying under the radar: Angela Hewitt and Tish Hinojosa

I love music, and am always eager to put in a plug for those artists whose work I enjoy, but who are not likely to be on the Tonight Show in the near future (hee hee).

These two women are wonderful talents with widely different sounds and subject material.

Angela Hewitt is a Canadian pianist, most of whose work I know is Baroque. I'm awating 2 CDs of Bach concertos, and if they are anything like the unaccompained pieces, they will be super. So far, I have JS Bach, Couperin, Rameau, and Chabrier. Yes, Chabrier is not Baroque. I ordered it without checking, but serendipity struck. It's beautiful.
Update: The Bach Concertos have arrived, and are as wonderful as I hoped they would be.

Tish Hinojosa (he-no-HO-suh) sings Tex-Mex music with themes of homeland, home life,and the Southwest. I'm sure the first time I heard her was on Austin City Limits. She sings just about evenly between Spanish and English, with a crystalline voice. My two favorite CDs are Homeland and A Heart Wide Open. I have on order Our Little Planet, and will let you know about it soon. I have seen Tish in concert, and afterwards she came out into the lobby and talked and signed autographs. Of course, the full house was about 200 of us.

Update: I have listened to Our Little Planet. It is more countryish (steel guitar, etc) and to me not as personal as the previous CDs. It will be very good for my morning walks.