We took a week off for spring break, and soon it was back to the grindstone. We had all gone our separate ways for a few days, but regrouped in central Connecticut on Sunday April 24th. The weather forecast for the area wasn't looking to promising. I took my week off in Dallas, and it was sunny and hot. When I arrived back in the northeast, I was greeted by 40 degree temps and lots of rain. The forecast for the week was calling for rain for most of the week, we were hoping that was not the case.
We had some athlete changes this week. Trevor Meyer (flatland), Eito Yasutoko (inline), and Jimmy Walker (BMX) are still out here with us this time around. We lost Zack Warden and Jay Stevason, but added Anthony Furlong (skateboard), and Koji Kraft (BMX) to the roster. Our shows this week took us to Francis Maloney, Middletown, Jonathon Law, East Haven, and Orville Platt High Schools.
Our hotel was in Wallingford, so our first show of the week was just down the road in Meriden at Francis Maloney High School. There was the threat of rain, and it looked pretty gloomy outside. When we showed up, the ramp was up in the parking lot, and we decided to give it a try. Right at showtime, it started to sprinkle, and looked like it would sideline the show, but it let up. We actually managed to stave off the rain for the entire show, and for load out. The school was so appreciative, they even ordered us a couple pizza's.
Tuesday the clouds parted and the sun decided to make an appearance. This was definitely good news for our show at Middletown High School. They had an all school assembly that took place in the side parking lot. We had a solid 45 minutes to do our show, and the students were definitely enjoying themselves. The Marines booth was quite the hit today, and students were lining up to try their luck at the pull-up/chin-up challenge.
Wednesday the clouds came back, but it didn't rain. We had a little bit of a haul to the south, into the town of New Haven. When we showed up at Jonathon Law High School, we were greeted by a camera crew. The local ABC station decided to come out and shoot some B-roll, and do a little interview about the tour. ABC wasn't the only media on site. Apparently this school has a broadcasting class. Their students came out and did an interview with myself and some of the riders. It should turn out to be a pretty cool piece for their class. Again, this was an all school assembly, and the students had a great time. We even had a special guest. A group from the Yale University School of Medicine came out, and they call themselves T.R.Y, Tobacco Research in Youth. They have an interesting program, where they go to high schools throughout Connecticut and offer students help in quitting smoking. Not only do they offer help, they provide nicotine patches to help the students quit smoking, and they even pay the students for quitting. Yes, you read that right, THEY ACTUALLY PAY STUDENTS TO QUIT SMOKING!!!!!. You can earn as much as $400 for quitting. I personally have never seen or heard of such a thing. I was thrilled when they came up and introduced themselves, and handed me one of their brochures. It's not like they just pass out nicotine patches and checks. You actually get counseling sessions and support. If you're a student in CT, and you want to quit, I highly recommend getting in touch with them.
We had managed to dodge the rain all week, but on Thursday it caught up with us. That meant the show had to go indoors at East Haven High. They managed to bring the entire student body into the gym for one big assembly. We thought it was going to be a very short show, because it took awhile to load everyone into the gym. Once they got everyone situated, we were told to ignore the bell schedule, and just do what we needed to do. The BMX boys put on a 25 minute show, and Koji lit them up with a couple of backflips. The Marines were the big hit today again. They had a mad rush of students, waiting to try out the pull-up bar. As a matter of fact, once we loaded out and were ready to leave, there were still students waiting to try their luck at the pull-up bar.
Friday was bright and sunny as well. So much for the rain forecast we saw earlier in the week. Today was a perfect spring day. Not too hot, not too cold, and lots of sunshine. This was an all school assembly at Orville Platt High. We took up a good portion of their side parking lot. They gave us 45 minutes to do our show and trivia, and the students were very energetic. One of the best groups of the week. They got an eyeful today, because both Jimmy Walker and Koji Kraft were firing off flairs (backflip 180's) like crazy. Koji was even doing opposite flairs.
That's it for this week. It seemed to fly by. Half of the crew is headed to Williamsburg VA tonight, to do shows at Busch Gardens amusement park over the weekend. Our next stop isn't too far away, just up the road in Providence RI.