After reading the article from the Redwood Falls paper, I realized there was very little in it about us or the club we played. If memory serves, Donavon’s Reef was a nightclub and bar in the Redwood Falls Best Western motel. The bar had a nautical theme with lots of wood separating the different levels of tables and dance floor, as well as sailing ship wallpaper. We got very popular very quickly and spent a lot of time returning to this nightclub to bigger and bigger audiences.
When we got booked there, we though we had died and gone to heaven. Our booking included (if I remember right) rooms and food.
One of the big attractions of the motel was its huge indoor swimming pool with a very high ceiling so guests could swim there even in the winter. One of the rooms we got to use was upstairs off the pool room that had a window opening out to the swimming area. Because of the way it was situated, very little light came into the room, so one could sleep late into the day (which we often did on days off or when there was no rehearsal) and still think it was night because it was so dark! This probably was a draw back to the motel’s normal visitors, but we loved it.
The way I remember it working was, the band got three rooms which included this one, and we would rotate each time we returned to play the club as to who got to use it BY THEMSELVES! That left the other 4 of us to share one of the two other rooms with one of the other band members. Remember, we were 5 people including Carl on sound and lights, so this worked perfectly. I stand to be corrected, but I think Kim Ludtke was the first one to get the lucky straw and use the room first.
One of the people we met there and remained friends with during the Silver Laughter days was Bev Gabrielson. She was a waitress in the motel’s restaurant and became a good friend and strong supporter of our band. When she had her son, she named him after two of our band members; Paul and Jon. P-J was 4 1/2 months old when this photo was taken.