Summer/fall fun

By Jim Magdefrau

It seems I’ve gone from a weekly columnist to a monthly columnist. Or it might be a quarterly columnist. A column starts with the first sentence, which is usually erased and written again.

It’s been a summer.

As I approach Labor Day, I still have the whitest legs in the county. I tell folks I spray them, but it’s white spray. Oh well. Don’t judge me by the color of my legs.

One project this summer and fall is to catch the first show of the Wilco tour, which was held in Cedar Rapids, and the last show in Columbia, MO, at the Roots N Blues Festival, and see how much we’ve both changed in that time.

A friend of mine was at the Paramount for his first ever Wilco show. I tried my best to describe them. Alt Country doesn’t do it justice. They will nail a four-beat perfect country tune, and then without warning they will lock into a solid riff and go into cosmic space jam. They have fun and we have fun listening to them have fun.

I’m looking forward to their Missouri gig.

The summer’s end brought a gathering of newspaper colleagues for a meeting in Ankeny. While we choose who will be honored with distinguished awards in a business that we love, most of our time is spent talking about music, mainly with friends Bill Monroe, Rick Morain and Chuck Offenburger. Bill spends a week in Memphis and a week in New Orleans every year, just for the food and music. Rick plays the carillon in the square in Jefferson. He told of the difficulty and patience it takes to play “Lucille” on the bells. Chuck related stories of Phil Everly visiting his hometown at the height of the brothers’ fame, and holding a small concert in the yard for kids in his neighborhood in Shenandoah.

And we did talk about newspapers and exciting things happening here and throughout the state. Iowa still ranks high in newspapers per capita and percentage of people who read newspapers. The industry is still a key part to the success of the community, whether they get their news in print or online.

We head into the best part of the year. Fall. School is rolling, sports are happening.

Leaves will change color. And my legs won’t.

That’s all right.

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