The School of Rickey

So, last night was a little disappointing…Not only did the Redskins blow a golden opportunity to take hold of the #6 seed in the NFC playoffs, my #1 seed fantasy football team lost by 1 point.  As you may have guessed, my roster is filled with Redskins players…it’s my real life team and i like to make them my non real life teammates.  Coming in to the game i was in a great position to make it to back to back FF Championship, all i needed was the Redskins to not crap the bed…and they crapped the bed.  All over the freaki’ place.  Now, i know one of the most annoying things is hearing some random dude complaining or bragging about his fantasy teams…it was just tough man.  Still love my Redskins and can only regret the roster decisions that i should have made in hindsight.  But as Steve Spurrier once said…”hindsight is 50/50.”

Moving on.  The MLB network had a great documentary on Rickey Henderson tonight, “School of Rickey”

Needless to say, i enjoyed the hell out of the show and all of the stories from Rickey’s past…and present.  He seems like the kinda guy that is impossible to figure out in real life, not to mention if you were a pitcher attempting to hold him on base during his playing days.

If you are a Henderson fan it’s a must watch.

If you are a baseball fan it’s must watch.

So, watch it!

But first, check out this sweet ass 2016 Topps Dynasty card i recently picked up!  It’s a lovely tricolor patch on card autograph of my baseball idol, and it’s numbered 03/10.

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Fantastic piece of cardboard i say.  Some of you fellow bloggers have picked up a couple of these cards recently and noted the bumpy texture of the cards which is pretty evident in person, more so than in the photographs…but these photos were taken with an iPhone in low light, so there’s that.  Initially, i wasn’t going to go after one of these cards until the madness died down a bit but i saw a great deal on eBay and had some PayPal money from some recent sales to cover the cost and went for it!

 

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When i posted a bid on the card i made the rookie mistake of not reading the description…i should have, and you should always do the same!  Apparently, the guy selling the card was flipping the card and didn’t have it in hand.  To me, that was the beginning of a scam…so, i contacted the seller and he was really cool about it and understood where i was coming from and did an awesome job of following through on the whereabouts of the card.  Luckily for me (and probably him too?) the card came in a couple days later.  He shipped it out quickly and it was in my precious little hands last night, right before the Redskins crapped the bed.  So, i guess last night was all that bad…eh?

One of my favorite MC’s of all time, Aesop Rock is in town tonight for a show at the Wonder Ballroom…well, he’s in town most nights as he lives in Portland these days.  Normally, i would insist on going to his show and having an amazing time…if you’re in to Hip-Hop and love the indie version of that form of music, he’s one of the greats and always has high energy shows along with Rob Sonic and Homeboy Sandman.  This time though, other family / work related things came up so i couldn’t make it out.  Kinda missing out too, wishing I could have made it out…next time.  Until then, here’s a cool video from his latest album “The Impossible Kid”

Next level favorites and more autographs

I didn’t receive a Topps Now Christmas card today…and honestly i’m not too upset although i kinda feel a little left out.  So to make up for my collecting insecurities i stopped by the LCS to see Brian today.  There was a show on the other side of town, but i was with my offspring all morning and afternoon.  I thought making an attempt at hitting up the show would be a major failure due in part to the snow, but also to a rambunctious young boy.  I decided the baby step with a card shop visit would be a more appropriate first step…i mean, you don’t learn how to ski going down a black diamond run on your first visit to the mountain right?  The boy did great and i was able to pick up a couple new Redskins that i will get posted here soon as well as a box of the heavily discussed Bowman Draft cards.  I’ve been on a bit of a run this year with Bowman cards since they offer a huge array of prospects and on card autos for everyone…plus the chrome versions (as with all Topps chrome cards) have an odd but appealing scent to them.  I’ll try to get to those later in the week once i have a chance to open a box and go through them.

All of that stuff from the first paragraph has nothing to do with the cards i’m about to show right now.  This past September, i was between jobs and didn’t buy too many cards during that month but did pick up a couple of retail packs and a Stadium Club box from the card shop.  As you may have seen from an earlier post this week, i noted that the Willie Mays card was my favorite of the year.  Honestly, that set had numerous images that could have been labeled “Best of 2016…”.  So here are a couple other images i thought were worthy of noting.

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First up is the Alex Gordon rainy day photo from the post season of 2015.  This may not be the greatest photographic image, in fact, i believe it could have helped a bit with a little more separation and cropping to show his feet and home plates…this may have allowed a little more blue at the top of the photo.  Also thing this in a landscape with some “rule of 1/3rds” going on could have made this an epic card.  That’s all nit picking…it’s a great card and a great moment captured by a talented photographer just before the pitch.

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Every time i see or think of Lou Brock, I can’t help but think of the Q-Tip lyric “…got the scrawny legs, but i move just like Lou Brock with speed, I’m agile plus i’m versatile…”  You get the idea.  Being a big Rickey Henderson fan, i’m also a fan of Lou Brock.  Their careers became so intertwined as Rickey entered the league breaking all of Lous’ records along with some of Maury Wills records.

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The other image is of Monte Irvin and his total control of 5 bats.  Mr. Irvin passed away at the start of the year at the age of 96.  Irvin was one of those players whose professional career overlapped America’s involvement in WWII as he was part of the 1313th Battalion in Europe…but it was also during the Negro League days where he was one of the many stellar players that would eventually be part of the breaking of the color barrier.  Reading the stories of the players during this part of our countries terrible history is quite sad.  Makes you wonder what kind of numbers some of these incredibly talented players could have put up during their younger or peak years.  This is just a beautiful card.

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Last image is of one of the three autos i received in the box.  It’s of Matt Wisler.  The young pitcher for the Atlanta Braves who was involved in the Padres deal for Craig Kimbrel and Melvin (BJ) Upton Jr.  While he was in the Padres organization he pitched for the San Antonio Missions!  I spent many a night as a child watching the San Antonio Dodgers on the south side of San Antonio.  They later became the Missions as the relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers was ending.  Since San Antonio is home to many wonderful historic missions, the name made sense.  Besides, everyone remembers the Alamo, right?  Speaking of San Antonio, my alma mater played in their first bowl game today but lost to New Mexico.  Tough break for the young program.  Baby steps.

As i mentioned, i received 3 autographs but two of them were redemptions which i have yet to receive.  I’m hoping to get them in the next month or so…no idea when really, but both of the names are great and i’m not too interested in asking for a replacement…so now i wait…

The next two cards were from a jumbo box of Topps Series 2.  One is a great prospect and the other is a guy form the Reds organization that may or may not pan out…who knows?  Sticker autos are always a little disappointing.  There’s just something about the card being in the signers hand rather than a sheet of Apex sticker sheets…or whatever is used.  Anybody know?

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Kind of proud of the Raul Mondesi card.  Ties in nicely with the Alex Gordon from above i guess.  Raul is only 21 and is already a World Series champion with a very bright future…lets see what happens in 2017!

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As i mentioned, i wasn’t able to make the card show today which isn’t too unusual since i tend to hit them up every other month and i was there in November.  Still enjoy going to the shows and talking to my favorite dealers and collecting with the old guys there.  The vintage dudes seem to love telling stories of cards they had and have lost through the years…love it!  Great time…wish i could have a drink with most of those guys though.

Heritage autograph issue

One of my favorite sets each year is Topps Heritage…actually it is my favorite set.  I buy a few boxes…actually i buy quite a few boxes each spring and slowly and painfully build a set including all of those damn high numbers.  What can i do, i’m a collector that must complete things.

One of the things that i love about Heritage is that it’s not a set based on “MoJo” or “Sick” hits, it’s just about set building…painful set building…but occasionally you get a nice autograph.  Only one though, remember it’s not a gamblers box of cards.  When you get that one auto it always seems to be pretty cool you know?  Most of my autos through the years have been veterans that played during the season of the Heritage re-up which is super cool.  Veteran guys that most of the time i know nothing about so it gives me a chance to learn a thing or two about a guy from the 50’s or 60’s.  It’s great for the history of the game and for educating the younger or maybe less informed fan of baseball.

Here are a couple autos i received from my 2015 Heritage purchases a couple years ago (don’t think these have been posted yet…if so, i apologize!)

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When i first saw this autograph Red Sox card of a guy named Schilling, all i could think of was a stupid bloody sock and…nevermind…not a fan of Curt Schilling, so i’ll leave it at that.  Now Chuck didn’t have a stellar career or a long career, only lasting 5 seasons with the BoSox.  But hey, i’d take 5 years as a big leaguer over non years.  As you can tell this card is red ink and numbered to 66…because it represents the 1966 Topps set…but also notice the 1.  I always like to get the lower number cards thinking that the penmanship is better for these cards.  Mr. Schilling has some pretty nice ink…right over the cup region to boot.

Next up is a younger, modern era player…maybe even a future superstar.  I think it’s safe to say that the way he’s pitched the past couple of years he’s at the star level for a star filled Blue Jays organization.  Mr. Aaron Sanchez

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When i look at this photo, i feel incredibly old.  He looks like he could be my son, my incredibly talented son with some additional flair to his signature.  Wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the exact same way Amy Schumer signs her autographs…just look at it.  I do appreciate how Aaron tucked his signature on his left shoulder over the white uniform.  Nice backdrop for a pretty decent autograph.

Step into 2016 with me.  Bought some more boxes of Heritage and pulled two autographs.

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Jake Wood.  I love this card.  Almost as much as the next one.  The smile on Jakes face looks like a smile of content and pride…like a guy that is genuinely happy to be where he is at that point in his life.  Now, i could be completely wrong as i don’t know Jake personally, but he just looks like nothing is ever too difficult for him.  Jake along with ol’ Chuck from up the page didn’t have a stellar career although it lasted a couple years longer.  Jakes is still pretty active and is doing some great things in the world according to wikipedia.  He continues to play softball at the ripe old age of 79…i can only hope i can still bend over when i’m 79.  Jake also mentors Inmates at a Jail in Florida for the “A Will and a Way” ministry.  Good for him.

Next guy up, Mr. George Altman.

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George to this point of my post has had the best professional baseball career (i see you Aaron Sanchez…).  George played with the legends of Chicago Cubs baseball; Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo and did more than keep his own among that great group of ball players.  As i mentioned above, this is one of my favorite cards from the bunch.  George looks idk an intimidating guy, he is 6’4″.  He’s also one of those odd guys that bats left and throws right…sorry batted/threw.  He also became the first player in the history of baseball to hit two home runs of the legendary Sandy Koufax in one game…not sure how many guys ever did that, context is everything, but to be the first to do anything like that is a good thing.

Got a few more autograph posts lined up for the next few days.  Nothing overly spectacular, but i’m hoping to learn a little about some of these guys.  Hope you enjoyed reading!

This is what we were listening to at the office today.  Childish Gambino aka Don Glover.  Check it out!

 

Rookie gambles

“…the kids better buy my rookie card now

cause after this year the price ain’t going down!”

These words were uttered by the lyrically inclined, Mos Def…or Yasin Bey.

The value of rookie cards have been a part of non-card collectors for many years and often referenced in pop culture.  Maybe not necessarily the value of a card, but the understanding that rookie cards generally carry a significantly greater value or general demand over non rookie cards.

I’ve never been a gambler, nor have i been a prospector.  I’m a collector, a team collector.  A team collector of an NFL franchise that has not been great for a few years and are faced with a high draft pick each year in the Spring NFL draft.  Typically a high NFL draft, assuming an offensive player or skilled defensive player will have valuable rookie cards.  When they are drafted by the Redskins, i have a collectors obligation to pick them up.  Typically, the sooner the better for me.  Problem is though, you never know how a guy is going to pan out in his athletic career.  Case in point, this guy.

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In 2012, i bought way too many boxes of football cars in hopes of pulling ONE…just ONE autographed RGIII card.  Never.  Not once did i have my wish granted…ironically though, i did manage to pull two Kirk Cousins cards that year.  At the time, i was slightly disappointed…that’s what it came to, i was disappointed to have a back up guy, not the main guys autograph, i mean c’mon man RGIII was the future!  As you may be able to tell from the card above, he is a distant memory for all Redskins fans now and something the Cleveland Browns are forced to deal with.  Now, don’t get me wrong i have some great memories, some not so great ones too, but the drama with this guy…not to mention the fragility with which he played.  Point is, you have to be patient and know when to strike on these young guys.  I think i’ve learned my lesson a bit and have managed to make a few good pick ups from the past couple of card shows with Kim.  Here are the few top Redskins rookies and cards with autographs.

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I’ve written about this guy a lot.  The main reason is that i’m feeling like he may be another Malcolm Kelly or Devin Thomas or Michael Westbrook or Rod Gardner or…you get the idea.  A highly touted rookie WR that isn’t able to meet the expectations.

Doctson has missed most of the season and who knows what the future will bring.  With the lull in his playing this year though, it’s time to swoop in and pick up some autos.

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I’ve been able to pick up a few for less than $5 each.  Not bad for a first round draft pick, skilled position player autograph and or jersey.

Another guy that i’ve been putting together a nice collection of is Nate Sudfeld.  A back up QB…worked well last time, why not try again!  I don’t believe Nate has suited up for any regular season games this season, which is great because that means Cousins has played great and has been healthy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Kirk Cousins and hope the Redskins can sign him to a long term contract and hope that he is the long term answer.  But you need a backup and a good backup at that.  Worst case, he gets traded and stars somewhere else and i’m able to flip these guys for more Redskins.

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The digital camoflauge is always something cool to see on a card.  The autograph of Nate though…it needs some work.  I think these kids are asked to initial the stickers, not autograph them…oy!

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Next rookie that i haven’t really started my pursuit of but need to step it up a bit is Su’A Cravens.  He was a huge fan of Sean Taylor as a young’n and his play in some respects reflects the same intensity that Sean had.  Su’A is an intense young man that hits hard and plays with enough intensity to become playmaker in the future, so now is the time to strike if you ask me!

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Last kid for the night is Keith Marshall.  A rookie running back from the University of UGA…or Georgia.  Don’t know much about this kid since he was injured in the preseason and has been on IR all season…you can never have enough RB’s, especially the fast ones which i believe he is.

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I’m thinking of posting some Bowman cards i’ve picked up recently after i do some research on the nicer cards i pulled.

Hope you enjoyed the cards today.

Here for your viewing pleasure…Pharoahe Monche, Mos Def and Nate Dogg…OH NO!!

Favorite card of 2016

Ok, sometimes i like to participate in the activities that other are participating in.  I’m human…it’s human nature to want to be around other like minded folks.  People that share your same interest, goals…hobbies.

So with keeping up with the blogses, here is my favorite card from the weird ass year of 2016:  Big shoutout to P-Town Tom over at Eamus Catuli

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2016 Topps Stadium Club card #194 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants OF

This card is my favorite because it’s just a bad ass photo of a bad ass baseball player.  From the lower perspective looking up to the foreshortening of the bat in Willie’s hands and the ghost like mirage of the light standard in the background.  Stadium club has always been a favorite set of mine, but something i’ve never decided to collect for no real reason at all.  The glossy finish of the face and thicker card stock is also extremely attractive to me.  The  back of the card though, leaves a lot to be desired…so much so that i decided not to scan it, and i’ve been on a crazy back-scanning rampage of late.  I apologize for that to those that are not interested in card backs.

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Apparently, Willie enjoyed this bat pose so much he attempted to teach a young John F. Kennedy Jr. the proper technique while he was wrapping up his career with the New York Metropolitans.  Not sure the cameraman and young John John really got what Willie was trying to do.  Sometimes legends are just ahead of the curve i guess.

We got hit with another little snow attack today and it took quite some time to get home…luckily this song was available to my ears and served as a calming agent while i slipped and slid up and down the west hills of Portland to our home.

Idols…Philly to ’68

Sunday night was an incredible night for me.  A night that took me back a long time…a really really long time…about 30 years ago long time but I’ll get to that in a bit.

This post isn’t just about incredible events, but incredible pick ups of a Redskin great that I wrote about a few days ago.  Charley Taylor.  I’ve been looking for a fairly nice condition 1965 Philadelphia rookie card for a few months and couldn’t find one in the condition that i was cool with or a price that i was cool with…until a few weeks ago when i stumbled across this guy which i picked up from COMC for around $15.

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It’s a little off center and there are some subtle smudges on the surface, but for under $20 i will be quiet and happy about the purchase and addition to my Redskins team collection.

Since Taylor came in to the league as mostly a running back…or halfback in olden time terms…the stats do not reflect his stellar rookie campaign in which he caught an additional 53 passes for 814 yards and 5 touchdowns.  The back of these Philadelphia cards leaves a lot to be desired…and apparently, so do my scanning abilities.  I think this might have been done late at night when i was getting a little lazy and over tired…please forgive me.

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The other cool artifact that i picked up from COMC was the Topps Pin Up Mini Poster.  This newspaper print posters actual size is 5″x7″ and has been folded with the utmost care through the years.  The image seems to have yellowed/faded a bit and feels incredibly fragile, but that could just be me being overly cautious about the print…now i need to find some of those fancy 5″x7″ pages to hold this guy or a nice sturdy top loader and a cool place to store it.

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…speaking of 1968…

It was also the year that Big Daddy Kane was born…although he wasn’t born as Big Daddy Kane, he was Antonio Hardy.

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As a white kid growing up in the suburbs of San Antonio, i fell in love with Hip-Hop via my childhood best friend, Rafik.  Rafik and I came from single working mother homes and spent day and night hanging out doing dumb stuff and listening to music…and breakdancing…yes, i fancied myself a b-boy at one point in my life.  He would visit his father in Philadelphia each Summer and Christmas and come back with some amazing new music and records.  Not the latest Ozzy or Judas Priest, we’re talking…Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Fat Boys, Run DMC…etc.  This music was new to me and was the coolest thing i’ve ever heard.  Now, i love almost all types of music (sans Reggae and some Country…’cept Dierks).  When it came to this rap thing though, I was hooked.  As i got older, i got more and more in to the music and rappers, or emcees, or MC’s.  The one though that caught my attention was Big Daddy Kane in 1987.

I was 11 going on 12 and Kane was the king of hip-hop in my mind.  Luckily for me he went on a nationwide tour, and for some reason swung through San Antonio.  No hip hop shows came through San Antonio back then, but not only Kane…he came along with other top acts at that time; Stetsasonic, Sir-Mix-A-Lot and some guy named MC Hammer…I was 12 and it was the winter of 1988.  That was my first hip hop show and something that i have never forgotten.

Moving through the years, i’ve always listened to his music and hoped that i would get a chance to see him live again.  Being on the west coast, a lot of older rappers don’t make it out this way…it’s a big trip for the east coast guys and i can’t imagine the draw is too enticing for them.  But Sunday night Big Daddy Kane was in Portland, Oregon…and there was absolutely no way i was going to miss the show.

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As per usual, i went by myself…because that’s what i do…go to things by myself.  The show was absolutely amazing…a bit short for his stage performance, around 45 minutes or so…but for me, it was unforgettable.  He even jumped in to the crowd for Ain’t no Half Steppin’ and got some way too far gone dude to help with the lyrics.  Here’s an image of that portion of the program.

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One helluva night and a night that took me back to my pre-teen years.  Unlike those 30 year old memories, i was able to record some of the show…i’ve gotten into a bad habit of photographing/recording too much of the show rather than just live in the moment…but if i manage it right…i get the memories in my mind and some digital ones as well.  Here are a couple of videos i took from that night.

You may or may note be able to hear me shouting the words in the back ground.

So, to tie this up into a nice bow…

…Big Daddy Kane born in 1968…

…1968 Mini Poster of Charley Taylor …

…Charley Taylor Philadelphia rookie card…

…Philadelphia hip hop records from Rafik…

…hip hop to Big Daddy Kane…

…Cycle of life continues…

 

Lazer face

That Redskins game today…jeezus man…my heart is still pounding.  Not sure what kind of run those guys have in them this year, but they have to be able to play better defense if they want to even make the playoffs this year.  Currently on the outside looking in…the part that kills me with all of this is that i have to cheer for the Cowboys to win the rest of their games to help my teams chances…#HTTR!

Tying up a nice little wooden bow on the Gypsy Oak artwork, i also picked up a couple of the laser cut / wood engraved baseball card replicas.  These are really cool pieces of carved plywood showing the selected player in their reproduced 1955 or 1956 Topps issue.  Each piece is roughly 3/16″ and the same size as a typical baseball card.  They are really light and have a somewhat rough texture to them, but feel perfect in the hand.  A very cool and original piece of artwork that i’m super happy to have.

The first card is the Mickey Mantle.  I wasn’t going to purchase another one, but felt that if i just got the Mantle card i may regret not getting the other one i had my eye on.  The Mantle card is pretty lovely and reflects the beautiful version of the 1956 card.  I stole an image from the internets of what the original card looks like vs. the copy of the wood card below.  One day, i will own that Mantle card…i just know it!

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See!  Identical…except for all the dudes in the stands with white t-shirts…it’s dead-nuts.

The other card that i wasn’t planning to get, but had a difficult time passing on was the Roberto Clemente.  Clemente is one of those guys that i’d love to collect and have a sweet collection of his original cards…in due time…here is his version of the 1955 Topps reproduced image.

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Last image is one that was a bit of a surprise…not a card that i had ordered or given any idea to ordering especially since i didn’t even see it on the website.  Either way, when someone forwards you a Sandy Koufax card of any kind…for free, you are generally happy about it…maybe even ecstatic.  Here is the image of the reproduced version in the 1955 Topps format.  Enjoy!

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I was hoping to pick up a Rickey Henderson at some point from Gypsy Oak, but don’t think he’s made one yet…or i’ve missed the boat on it…?  I’ll keep an eye out in the future just in case.

So tonight is a big night for me.  I’m going to a show of one of my childhood favorites, i’ve been a longtime fan of his music and was super excited when i saw that he was coming to Portland.  The last time I saw this guy live and in person i was a 12 year old pre-teen child in San Antonio.  That show was pretty epic and one of my all time favorites…still have vivid memories of that awesome night almost 30 years later.  I will wait to spill the beans on who it is in my next post and hope to have some shots from the show…in the meantime, here’s another completely random video that has nothing to do with anything. Hope you guys had a great weekend and a great week ahead!