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DIVA NEWS ARCHIVE -- 1999 TOUR DIARY, PAGE FOUR


The Tour Continues......Welcome to Lawrence, Kansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico

Gay Snaps A Pic!Leaving Milwaukee was kinda sad. We made lots of friends and really enjoyed playing live there. However, the road was calling. We spent more time in the van being silly, snapping pictures of each other -- and coveting the back seat. Our rule was that whoever got off the driving shift could have the back bench to themselves for a mega-nap. We listened to more music, stopped for more coffee, Mountain Dew, Starbuck's Frappucinos....and whatever else it took to keep going.

I enjoyed driving through Chicago -- which Nick Sleepsis certainly one of the most impressive skylines I've ever seen. I wish we had had the time to stop in, visit with Oprah, then take off. Alas....it was another day-long drive to Lawrence. We crossed the Mississippi again, saw the St. Louis Arch from way far away and marveled at the scenery. So much green! It's just not like that here in California.

Passing back through Kansas City was cool -- they had the BEST old school radio station. Al Green rules! Yes! Barry White! Yes! Right on! We arrived in Lawrence late.....and luckily my cousin, John Morris was awake and had the place ready for us to sleep. The kids and his wife Tracie had already gone Nick at Haskell's Tecumseh Hallto sleep while Gay, John and myself caught up on old times. We had fun talking about our families and gossiping about Chuck Mead. As most of you know, John went to school with Chuck in Lawrence. We urged him to give us any dirt about Chuck's early years -- and to his credit, there really weren't any scandalous tales. Well, except about the time at basketball practice.......AAAAY!

We had the great fortune of TWO gigs in the Lawrence area. One took place at the local Borders, Books & Music outlet in downtown Lawrence. The second was a special performance for the students at Haskell Indian Nations University.

Gay and I made time to visit with our Aunt Olelah Morris and David Morris. We had fun talking about our lives and plans for the future. I was so happy to see them again, as it had been many years since I'd seen them.

Haskell University started out as a boarding school for Indians, then transitioned to a tech school -- and it is finally a four-year, accreditated University. Marvin Shade, who is in charge of Student Activities took us on a tour of the campus. I walked the same halls as Jim Thorpe -- and those my Dad who went to school there in the 1950's. He even wanted to take us to the haunted graveyard....but we drew the line!The Morris' and the Band

Many students took time to help us out at the gig, plus give us support. It was nice to see Indian kids from so many nations in one place. The school had just suffered through the tragic deaths of some students who had been killed in a car accident -- so the mood was a little somber. We all did our best to give the kids something to smile about.

The next day, the show at Borders was lots of fun and was full of "interesting" people. Some of the students from Haskell came along for another dose of music, in addition to Aunt Olelah, John and David. We heard from the coordinator that she was pleased at all of the calls she had received about the gig -- and one gal had driven over 100 miles to see us play that night. We later found out we almost had Chuck Mead in the audience, who was at home that week with his family. Drat!

Haskell Students!After hugs and a few tears, we left Aunt Olelah, John and David and headed west. It was one more gig and then HOME.

It was one long haul through Oklahoma and Texas to Albuquerque. We arrived tired, hungry, but happy to have somewhere to sleep and a plan for the next day's event. Jon Ghahate, who we had met at the Native Music Festival in Tsaile, really took a liking to us and helped arrange an appearance. We would play live at the Indian Village at the New Mexico State Fair.

A good night's sleep always helps -- and the next day we made our way to the State Fairgrounds for some fun. I had a nostalgic moment -- remembering the time that my mom and her cousin Jim McGirt had taken my sis and I to see David Cassidy at Tingley Coliseum. Tingley is located on the State Fairgrounds, by the way. We were just young girls then.....and mom and McGirt drove us all the way from Gallup, New Mexico (where my dad was the local Navy recruiter) for the show -- the first live concert I had ever seen. We were instructed NOT to scream and holler like those other unruly tots. Gay and I complied -- but righted this wrong years later at a David Cassidy concert at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. We were the LOUDEST table in the joint that night. HA!

New Mexico State FairGathered at the Indian Village were hundreds of Indians and other fair-goers. There were a couple of other acts ahead of us, so we hung out and chatted with folks. We ran into Adrian from Red Earth -- and he reported that their band had also had a great time at Milwaukee Indian Summer Festival.

When we took the stage, folks didn't quite know what to make of us. After all, this was our Albuquerque debut. However, after a few songs I saw lots of heads bobbing, cowboy boots a-tapping and there was lots of applause. I talked to folks afterwards and was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm. A group of Indian gang-bang kids walked by and told us "You guys are the bomb!" An elderly, retired Navajo teacher told us how much she enjoyed the songs. Her daughter said, "Didn't you see her head-banging during 'Spirit Guide?'" It was a good moment.

Jon had also arranged for a get-together of local music events people, plus Ellen Bello and Sky Hunter from the Native American Music Awards. Harlan McKosato, the host of AIROS' "Native America Calling" was also there to say hey! We had a good time visiting and had fun talking about what was to come a few months later.......our biggest show yet -- the Nammys.

All-in-all, going on the road was a pleasant, surprising experience. It really gives you a sense of who you are -- and why you want to be in the business. I loved it -- and I'm looking forward to writing about the next big tour for everyone who enjoys our antics.

--ARIGON STARR

©1999 Wacky Productions Unlimited



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