We packed up from Orange on Friday after the show, and after a quick lunch stop, made the 5 and a half hour drive north to Dallas. Last week of the tour. Everyone was more than ready to get out of southeast Texas, and seeing the skyline of Dallas was a very welcome addition. Our shows this week take us to South Grand Prairie, Northwest, Birdville, Diamond Hill Jarvis, and Red Oak High Schools.
We have the same crew this week again. We have Anthony Furlong (skateboard), Eito Yasutoko (inline), Gabe Weed (flatland BMX), Jimmy Walker (BMX), and Zack Warden (BMX). We started off the week at South Grand Prairie High School. They scheduled a big assembly for the end of the school day in their parking lot. This was a big deal for them, because they have an anti tobacco group on the campus known as, The Tribe. They were definitely out in numbers to show support for our show, and they even had a complete skate deck they raffled off at the end of the show. The local Fox news station came out and did a story on our show as well as shot b-roll footage for the news that night. We were even paid a visit by our friend Mark Laue. Mark lives right down the road and runs the Alliance skatepark. He came out and donated some t-shirts for prize giveaways, and even another skatedeck. Overall, this was a great day to start out the last week of the tour.
Tuesday we had a bit of a drive, all the way over to the northeast corner of the Ft Worth area to Justin High. This was a pretty big campus, just off to the west side of the Texas Motor Speedway complex. They did 2 assembly shows in the middle of the afternoon. Both groups of students were very excited about the program. Definitely one of the most enthusiastic groups we have performed for on this entire tour.
Wednesday we were back out in Ft Worth at Birdville High. We were actually in a suburb of Ft Worth called North Richland Hills. We had set up shop in the front parking lot, right off the main road. This was pretty entertaining for us, because there was a bunch of local businesses on the main road, and a few strip malls. When the shows would start, we would cause a bit of a traffic jam on Precinct Line Rd. When the 2nd show was going on, we had quite the following going on in the Whataburger parking lot just behind the ramp. I felt sorry for people trying to order at the drive through, because they were probably being blasted out with tobacco facts and music every time they tried to order.
Thursday we were Ft Worth bound again, this time at Diamond Hill Jarvis High. This show was at the end of the school day, and again it was one assembly on the side parking lot. I'm not sure if the staff or students knew what to expect of the program. It was pretty quiet for the first half of the show, you could almost hear a pin drop. During the 2nd half though, they started to get into it, and the message obviously came across, because they were great at the trivia portion of things at the end of the show.
Last day of the week sends us south to an area known as Red Oak. Red Oak is about 30 min south of Dallas. Red Oak High was quite an impressive campus. It definitely appeared to be a newer school. Lots of brick entryways and of course in true Texas fashion, a really nice football stadium. We did two shows in the back parking lot, and boy was it ever cold. I guess winter finally decided to show up in northeast Texas. Despite the cold, we fired off the last two shows of the tour, and the students at Red Oak High had a great time, and were stellar at the trivia portion of the show.
That is officially it for the 2011 Fall Tour. It's been 11 long weeks, and with lots of other shows and contests packed in on the weekends in between. That's an awful long time to be away from home. I know that everyone was more than ready to get home and resume a normal life again. In the wise words of our truck driver Armand Sylvie, "finish strong". That was the theme of the tour, and finish strong we did. Happy Holidays everyone, and we'll see you next spring for our 13th year of the tour.