Talk about an incredible story. Ok first of all, day 16 of this tour (the 10th) was my Birthday. I turned 22 years old and while I’m not much of a birthday celebrator I managed to have an awesome day on tour with my friends and people we met along the way. Once we started the day we headed into downtown Madison to check it out and drive the van around, play yo-yo etc. We ended up walking down State St. which is the big avenue with stores and restaurants that is basically the village for UWI which is a truly humongous university. Anyway, we got ourselves some squeaky cheese, which we had been waiting for since Takeshi told us about it (you bite it, and it squeaks, its pretty hilarious), some Jamba Juice (one of my personal favorites) and wandered down towards campus in the beautiful weather.
So check this out, we’re walking onto the actual campus, we’re about 10 yards in and walking straight at me is Elliot! Elliot is a juggler who I met at the European Juggling Convention (EJC) in Spain a couple months ago. Though we ended the convention super friendly, he and I haven’t talked since and I completely forgot that he was a grad student at UWI; and there he was!! At a school of tens of thousands it was so incredible to run into the one person I knew. Not only that, but the juggling club was later that evening and our gig for the day ended with perfect time for us to come join it.
So we went and did lunch, I did some accounting, etc. We packed up and headed off to our gig and at first we were a little skeptical because even though the store was really nice and there seemed to be nice people working there and signs about our coming… the mall was deeaaaaad. For the first 15 minutes or so Nate and I kept meeting eyes worriedly, but low and behold after that things picked up quiet a bit! Not only did after school foot traffic pick up but suddenly a whole bunch of players appeared on the scene. Not only that, but the guy who does all the international ordering for Duncan at the Bariboo, WI Flambeau offices stopped by! Super super nice dude who I chatted with for probably 10+ minutes straight.
I’ll now relate to you another coincidence. The night before this gig when we were checking into the hotel the clerk at the Best Western spotted what Nate’s shirt said (Duncan, duh) and was like “No Way!”. It turns out Zach had just started playing yo-yo himself and was planning on coming by the next day to join us, which he did! So we had Zach, and then a total of 3-4 more players that showed and a few people who had planned to come watch. It was great. To top it off nicely I did some juggling to warm up for the club later and came up with some more new crazy tricks I hadn’t done. I’m having a really good time juggling and learning new yo-yo tricks at the moment, its fantastic.
Ok, Ok (as if this post isn’t long enough!) so we left the gig pretty pleased and headed straight to the juggling club. We were a bit early so we did some pics and video stuff but then people trickled in. It turned out to be a ton of fun, and even Jame and Nate really enjoyed it though they don’t juggle much. We showed off yo-yo, Nate and James learned a lot of juggling stuff, I TOTALLY geeked out for a couple hours. I even got to meet Luke Emery (a legendary club passer) who I had never had the pleasure of throwing things with. We did a bunch of cool brain-pain patterns and I learned some group pattern stuff which is not something I’ve done much of. By the end of the night I was back to trying just the craziest most random 1-3 club tricks I could think of and had an AWESOME time.
We ended the night with one more coincidence. We left the club finally to go to dinner before starting the drive north and ended up in a little Italian restaurant up the street. About 5 minutes after we sit down our waitress looks at me and says “are you a professional yo-yo player?”. Keep in mind that for once we hadn’t brought out yo-yos since entering the establishment, so we were a little surprised that my Duncan shirt triggered this question. Of course we responded yes, and it turns out that she was the girlfriend of one of the players that hung out with us at the gig! Not only that, but that same guy is now equipped with a brand new shiny MayheM! It was just too funny.
To finish the night we got on the road to Minnesota, but it got dangerous because we were so tired and just booked what ever we could find about half way through the drive. We slept about 4-5 hours before jumping out of bed, back on the road and heading out to the Mall of America, which is where our next post will take us.
Admittedly, we’ve been so busy and active that taking pictures sometimes isn’t priority so there aren’t as many of them as usual, but some cool ones none the less. Check it out!