Our sound and light man, Carl Frisch (the fifth Silver Laughter), dropped me a note the other day and included some memorabilia along with an old photo. Here is what he said in an e-mail entitled, “The Dodge Van”:
“This picture was taken in Austin MN, showing us packing up the day after an engagement at The Village Pump in early 1975. Everyone hated the cold, one of the disadvantages of touring the upper Midwest in winter. Brrrrr, lots of cold memories come to mind. From left to right, Mick (in the van), Mark’s back, Kim , and Jon.
Sorry if I never said thank you for being ‘Packy’, our official equipment packer. Thank you! You were really good at it. From the picture it looks like you even had to repack the spare tire and jack. I can still hear your voice calling out from deep in the van: “Mic stands! Monitor! Food box! Snare drum! Something about 4 inches wide!” I believe the van was packed differently each time.
That red Dodge van of Kim’s brings back a couple of memories, too. One time, on the way to or from a job with the van fully loaded, Kim and I were cruising down a country highway, with Kim driving and me nodding off. We suddenly came upon a small herd of cattle on the road. After dodging several cows, we hit one so hard it landed on the shoulder of the road, hooves up. We thought we had killed it. The farmer that was rounding up his escaped bovines told us, “It ain’t dead, just stunned.” After maybe twenty minutes, the cow finally got up and meandered off, a bit dazed. The van didn’t fare nearly as well, but still ran.
On another occasion, the right rear wheel bearing went out and a fire ensued. I was in the car following the van, and saw the black smoke and the flames before anyone in the van knew what was happening. Scared us all; we could have lost everything. But after repairs, we kept on truckin’ and I don’t think it made us late for anything.”
It’s funny because on the ride to Okoboji last month in the van Kim rented, he told me the story of hitting the cow in their old van as well as the wheel bearing incident. So now Carl confirms it!