My wife and I left on our long drive east almost 6 weeks later than our trip last year and we were really worried about getting hit by snow during the trip. We had been planning to come to Baltimore a week ago but we decided to postpone our trip after the announcement of the dedication of the Fluke Plaza two weeks ago. Since we like to make our trip on a weekend we decided to stay and see the last performance of the Poncan Opry this fall which fell on Saturday night and then make our trip starting Sunday afternoon.
We are glad we stayed. The third Poncan Opry on November 22 was the best one yet. Highlights included Gary Owen's hilarious performance as "Skinny Elvis" at the beginning of the show then his performance at the end of the show when he brought about a dozen members of the audience up on stage and had each of them in turn talking, telling jokes, and doing imitations until the audience had laughed themselves silly. Owen's performance was on par with the funniest routines we saw Terry Fator put on for us in Ponca City in May of last year.
Dale Eisenhauer and Bucky Fowler had their Poncan Opry backup band with all the regulars with the exception of a replacement bass player because the regular (Eisenhauer's son-in-law) and his wife had just had a new baby making Eisenhauer a grandfather. All the musical performances were good but highlights of the show included Kurt Graber in an outstanding performance on steel guitar, three of Bucky's daughters singing a trio, and daughter Kristine singing another classic song originally done by Tammy Wynette. The performance of the "Harper Valley PTA" was good and the young blues guitar player in the sunglasses demonstrated a lot of talent and potential.
We talked to Dale Eisenhauer, Bucky Fowler, and Gary Owen after the show and all three want to see the series continue next year. I think that with the response we saw from the audience on Saturday night, enough audience members and enough sponsors will come forward to make it financially feasible for the Poncan Opry to continue. We hope to see the Poncan Opry in a few months perhaps as early as March. In the meantime here are some photos I took from the Opry on November 22.
I have just posted an interesting set of photos from our 1,350 mile trip pulling a trailer from Ponca City to Baltimore, Maryland. I mentioned a few posts back that my wife got me a new camera for my birthday that has a lot of new features I have been wanting to try. I took a course in scientific photography in college and since then I have always been interested in time lapse photography. My new camera has an attachment that controls the camera so the camera will take photos automatically at discrete intervals.
Starting at Blackwell I set up my camera on a tripod in the back seat and had it take photos out the front window of our Navigator as we drove up I-35. We started driving at 3 pm and drove 145 miles up I-35 to the toll gate at Emporia, Kansas before it got too dark to continue. I had my camera set to take photos once every minute. I enjoy taking photos that show a process and already did an experiment a few weeks ago of time lapse photography of mowing the lawn in part of my back yard. I enjoy flipping through the time lapse photos I took on I-35 rapidly and identifying parts of the road I am familiar with from having driven it a few times.
The most interesting thing about the photos is that even though the interval between photos is one minute and hence the photos are taken a little more than one mile apart, it is almost impossible to see any continuity between the photos when you go through them in sequence. If I try the experiment again, I will shoot the photos with shorter intervals between them. I also want to get a more steady setup, figure out a way to anchor the camera farther forward so it is getting more of the landscape and less of the inside of the car, and finally take a series of photos driving through the Appalachians of Western Maryland and West Virginia through some mountains or make a trip down Skyline drive through the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge mountains for some really spectacular scenery.
Our trip took a little longer than usual this time. We always drive the trip straight through and it usually takes from 22 to 24 hours. This year we were worried about snow on the road but didn't see substantial snow until we got into Western Maryland - and all of that was in the fields - none of the road. What we did have was torrential rain. It started raining when we hit Ohio and didn't let up until ten miles out of Baltimore. Pulling a trailer, I really have to be mindful of even a small skid so we slowed way down for the last half of the trip and ended up driving 27 hours before we arrived we Baltimore.