After yesterday's wind debacle, I thought for sure we were going to have to do a box jump show today. The wind was so bad on Thursday, that it had actually snapped the support poles for one of the deck railings. We figured this was going to sideline us for several days. Our show today was at Brewer High in northwest Ft. Worth. Our tour manager Chris had called the folks at Brewer High on Thursday, and informed them that we were going to have to do the box jump show. Much to my amazement when we showed up on site today, the crew had the vert ramp setup, and ready to ride. Apparently Armand, our truck driver, spent all night last night, fabricating and welding us new support poles. It took him until 3 AM, and he was working on about 3 hours of sleep, but he pulled it off, and the vert ramp was up and running again.
As mentioned before, this campus is in northwest Ft. Worth. It appeared to be a relatively new school. When we first pulled up, we thought it was a college. This school has the most insane looking football stadium I have ever seen at a high school. When I stepped out of the car and checked out the field, three words came to mind, "Friday Night Lights". This field was state of the art. Brand new grass, perfectly striped and painted with the team logo. A huge set of bleachers on each side. A state of the art scoreboard, a professional announcers booth and what appeared to even be luxury booths. This thing was professional. The original plan was for us to do the show on the football field. The ramp crew guys had decided against it. We did not want to risk damaging this pristine field, so we ended up taking over one of the front parking lots. Instead of one show, we did 2 assemblies today, of about 45 minutes or so.
It was relatively calm weather when we got there. This was by far the best day weather wise, we had all week. After having to deal with windy conditions for most of the week, the guys really used the good weather to their advantage and went off with their riding. Again today, Trevor's flatland tricks were pretty popular, and Marc and Anthony's doubles run got the most applause of the day. I think the Marines booth got the most attention today though. Usually when the shows are over and we do trivia, the kids are focused on that, because we give out free stuff. Today when the riding was over, everyone bailed straight to the Marines tent, for the pull-up challenge. Once the second group came out, our old friend the wind decided to make an appearance again. It was pretty bad wind, but the athletes rode anyway, and Koji ended the second show with a double tailwhip, and a turndown flair.
After the second show, I actually ended up chatting with one of the teachers. He shook my hand and told me he liked the presentation. He also told me that he chewed tobacco for many years, and had recently quit. We had a short conversation, but it is always great to hear success stories of people who have beaten their tobacco habit. I also spent some time chatting with a student who was a smoker. He had asked me questions about quitting and what not. He said he had smoked for 2 years and really wanted to stop. I gave him some advice and we shook hands and parted ways. I didn't catch his name, but if he happens to read this blog, I sincerely hope he beats his tobacco habit. Hopefully next time we come through the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, we will come back to Brewer High, and he will have a success story for me.
I try to give out special thanks as often as I can. Today that honor goes out to Armand Sylvie, our truck driver and head ramp technician. The ramp crew are the heart and soul of this operation. They are up at the crack of dawn, day in and day out, setting up this ramp, making sure everything looks good, and fixing stuff when it breaks. With those support poles being broken yesterday, we could have been sidelined for days. He got right to work on it yesterday, and worked through most of the night in order to fix the problem. On top of all this, he had to drive halfway to Memphis after the show today. His is a thankless job, so today's special thanks, are entirely for him. You rule Armand, and if it wasn't for you, we would not be here.
That is all for Dallas. Next week we are off to the Volunteer state, Tennessee. Our shows are in Memphis, we'll see you there.