I need to make a confession – I screwed up, and I feel very guilty about it. Back around the first of the year Carl’s place of work sent out notices that they had “buy them before they go public” tickets to The Fresh Aire Music of Mannheim Steamroller concert. I was ecstatic – this is my favorite group, period, and I wanted to go. I told my Mom, and she wanted to go too, so Carl was going to look into tickets. But then I started thinking “The ad doesn’t say it’s Chip Davis – is this really going to be Mannheim Steamroller or just the Cedar Rapids Symphony playing their music?”. So I checked out Mannheim’s website but didn’t see any spring tour information. Therefore I assumed that this was a performance of the Symphony.

Well, you know what they say about assumptions: they make an ass out of u and me. About two weeks ago, TV advertisements started for this concert, saying that because of the interest in the concert and the demand for tickets, they would be holding a matinee. This didn’t sit well: why would anyone be this interested in a CR Symphony concert? So I went back to the Mannheim website and found out I was WRONG. It was Mannheim Steamroller coming to ‘lil old Cedar Rapids, and I had blown my chance at getting really good tickets. I also hosed my Mom out of a chance to see them in concert with us, and for that I feel really guilty. I’m sorry, Mom. I wish you could have been there.

Obviously, by now you’ve figured out that we did get matinee tickets. They were in the first row of the balcony, and were decent enough seats, although I couldn’t stand very long because of my vertigo. But this concert was indescribably wonderful. The music, the visual effects, the music, the enthusiasm of the musicians, and the music were fabulous beyond words. The topper was the encore: after they finished the main program they did three more songs. Two of them were Christmas songs – Winter Wonderland and Deck the Halls. The third song was the last one on Fresh Aire II. What made the encore particularly spectacular was that during Winter Wonderland they showed scenes from Terry Redlin paintings. Terry Redlin is my all-time favorite painter, and having Mannheim’s music together with Redlin’s paintings was just about as perfect as you can get. The only thing that would have made it completely perfect is if they’d been serving Temptations Fine Candies dark chocolate truffles. (

All in all, it’s been a banner weekend for our family. Friday night we went to see Ben Stein’s new movie Expelled:No Intellegence Allowed. Saturday Mary’s soccer game was rained out, so she and I went to shopping in Williamsburg. (I’d taken Hannah earlier this year.) And then today we went to church, got Chinese food for lunch, and went to the concert. Plus, today is a gloriously beautiful spring day, so the girls went to the park. I guess they thought they needed more Fresh Aire.


Why can’t all weekends be like this?

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