Oberlin Blogs

Riding in Vans With Girls

January 26, 2010

Helena Thompson ’11




I am exhausted. Worn out. Sore from my fingertips to my toes. I have a little baby blister on my right index finger (a battle scar from my short stint as an upright bassist during several late-night jam sessions) and brand new guitar callouses on my left hand. My cowboy boots - as if they weren't before - are all broken in, having taken me from Texas to Kentucky and everywhere in between as a real-life, hardcore touring musician.

I feel so legit.


As mentioned in an earlier post, this ridiculousness all started one Winter Term ago with the creation of my band, the Black River Belles. Sometime mid-Sophomore year, we got this crazy little idea to go out on tour. "Let's see the WORLD," we said. "Let's TRAVEL." Although "seeing the world" soon turned into "seeing the South" and "traveling" into "driving around with all our earthly possessions in a Honda minivan and sleeping on couches," we still proceeded to book ten shows over three weeks in Texas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, giving us time to explore the part of the country that birthed bluegrass. And what would a cross-country bluegrass tour be without friends? Long and arduous, to say the least - which is why we invited four other people to come along for the ride. Danny Fryland '12, Carlos Lorant '12, Rue Oseas '12, and Alex Kotlikoff '13 drove around and slept on couches with us, committed to the task of documenting every second of the tour. Brave souls, they are. I raise my glass to them.

There are too many stories about too many late nights for me to chronicle in a single blog post. I promise that I'll share some of them with you later! At the moment, I'm riding in a plane high over the Midwest, scheduled to land at the Cleveland airport in a few hours where a car full of my friends will be waiting to take me home. Oberlin, here I come! I missed you. Didn't miss your snow, though. Boo.


p.s. LOOK LOOK LOOK: an article from the Dallas Observer. WHOO!

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