We were met at the Midland/Odessa Airport by Ron (Board of Directors of the Aphasia Center, West Texas). He took us to the Double Tree where we had some lunch and “downtime.” It wasn’t long before the Mask head out for a little exploration.
A short walk down the street took us to The Wall Street Bar and Grill and hung out at the bar with owner, Bob and some other colorful locals. We met Suzy, a photographer, who ended up taking wonderful pictures for us at the event.
After a bit, went and grabbed a cab and found a local music store and poked around. We met the music store neighbors, a savings and loan, I think, who recognized us from the newspaper ads for the event. Sam, our cabbie, took us to a liquor store where we bought way too much beer and a bottle of Texas Crown – Jack Daniels and Crown Royal, a paper cup disintegrating blend.
Ron picked us up at 4:30 and went to the Aphasia Center for a tour with Kathryn and Kitty. We learned all about the condition – an injury to the left side of the brain due to stroke, illness or accident effecting language (speaking and comprehension). Thoughts, emotions, memory, motor function are all in tact but the use of language and understanding of language is lost. This condition is easily misunderstood for drunkenness, mental illness, or senility, etc. It is a heartbreaking, isolating, and life changing/ending condition. We were all so blown away by this and the work they do at the center to rehabilitate these people beyond the limits of insurance. This was a game changer for us.
At first we were just excited about playing out of state but once we realized that the whole point of this free concert was for Aphasia awareness, it became all the more rich and meaningful.
Afterwards, Ron took us to The Bar where we met his lovely wife Carolyn and their friends Nancy and Skeet (Skeet is not short for anything – that’s his name) then out for a nice dinner at Mexican Restaurant. Ron dropped us back at the Double Tree where we hung out in Mark’s room for beer, Texas Crown and “Cards Against Humanity” knocking us back down to “horrible people who play that game!”
Next day was lunch with Ron and Carolyn at KD’s Barbeque, then to sound check at 2, back to the DT for pre-gig prep, i.e. Cards Against Humanity, some chow and then . . . . show time for a football field sized crowd in the neighborhood of 1,000 enthusiastic West Texans where we shared our love of the music of Fleetwood Mac and newly gained knowledge of The Aphasia Center.
We were also interviewed on LIVE radio with DJ DD Lonetree. She was a kick! The people of Midland are warm, friendly and gracious. We had an amazing time!
Will we go back? Haaaael Yes we will!