Several years ago I wrote the following blog: Supreme Court Jesters > SCJ Blogs
In it I speak of an exercise I do when I have trouble sleeping. I'll come u with a theme and try to form a complete list: Places I've performed from A to Z, the best starting nine whose names start with M (I'd put these guys up against any other initial's best team!), song titles fro each color of the rainbow, etc. This time, as I tossed and turned in a hotel bed in the small college town of Fort Kent, Maine, I tried to come up with places I've NEVER performed but have been to starting with each letter of the alphabet. While fell asleep by the time I got to "H" I was able to finish the list on the long ride home the next day.
And here's the list:
A: Albuquerque, NM. We were travelling back to Boulder, CO from a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico and we stopped in Albuquerque for supper at Pizza Hut. I had developed quite a cough, so after eating I quickly ran two blocks to a drug store for cough drops. Then I had to sprint back to keep from delaying the team. That's the only time I've ever been to New Mexico's largest city.
B: Brazil. My family spent two weeks in Paraguay doing shows all around the country. We took a day off to cross over into Brazil to sightsee at Iguzu Falls (see pictures in gallery on this web site) but I didn't do a show there.
C: Charleston, SC. I lived in South Carolina for a couple years, and this is where my ministry was birthed. As much as I performed around the state, it was primarily in rural areas, and never in it's second largest city. I did visit Charleston a couple times, though, including sightseeing with my dad.
D: Delaware. I've driven through America's second smallest state several times, but it is one of only two east seaboard states I've never done a show in. In fact, I'm not sure I,ve ever even gotten out of my car in this state!
E: El Paso, TX. When we took our church's youth group on the aforementoned mission trip to Juarez, we actually stayed in El Paso each evening. This made for a nice, safe trip to bring other people's kids (and our own four and two year olds). Although we spent each night in El Paso, all the shows were south of the border.
F: Fort Kent, ME. Our youngest daughter has attended college here for the last three years, and it was while visiting her here (for her nurse's pinning ceremony) that I started this list to begin with. Our other two girls attended college in Nyack, NY, and I performed there twice, but never in Fort Kent.
G: Georgia.The other east coast state where I've been but never performed.
H: Hannaford Super Market. Okay,this is a business rather than a geographical place. Although I worked there during the two summers when COVID-19 was at its worst, it is the only place I've ever worked and not done any shows. After all, I've always worked at schools and summer camps; great venues for a juggler.
I: Iorlano's backyard. Okay, if Hannaford in a stretch, this oneis a huge leap. It was a tough letter. I've never been to Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Indonesia, Iraq or India. The Iorlanos were a family two doors down from the house I grew up in. They had a kid my age, so there were times the neighborhood pack ended upin their yard, but no, I never did a show there.
J: Jeffersonville, VT. My brother lives in this small town. Although we've visited his family here several times, I've never done a show in Jeffersonville.
K: Kansas Rd, Bridgton, ME: I've lived in Bridgton for over 30 years, and my wife and I have raised three daughters here. It seems like I've done shows in every church, school, park, and other conceivable venue in our town, I've never worked a venue on this rural road on the outside of town. The fact that there's nothing ON Knsas Road but woods might be explain why. And why is there a "Kansas Road" in rural Maine? Perhaps a tornado picked it up and dopped it here rather than Oz... which, by the way, is somewhere else I've never done a show.
L: Las Vegas. This is the place jugglers and magicians aspire to work. I never performed there, but when I spent a summer working at a camp in California, the director took the entire staff to 'Sin City' for a weekend. 70 high school and college kids set loose on the Vegas strip for 48 hours; what could possibly happen? A lot, actually, but no juggling.
M: Malibu Beach, CA. The camp mentioned above was in the mountains of Malibu. Of course, being a summer camp, there were plenty of chances to perform. And we did a weekly firld trip down to the Malibu Beach, but I was always too busy supervising kids to do shows there.
N: Netherlands. We had layovers in the Netherlands both coming and going on a mission trip to Uganda, We never left the airport, so there was no opportunity to juggle for anyone.
O: Orono, ME. Orono is a suburb of Bangor, and home to the largest of the U. Maine campuses. I spent a weekend at UMO once when a friend and I hitchhiked there from U Maine Farmington. Some old friends from high school sneaked us into their dorm. I have done shows at a couple U Maine campuses, but I didn't perform during my weekend at UMO.
P: Panama. Like the Netherllands, we were just passing through the airport. In this case, we were coming and going to Parag
Q: Quebec. I grew up about 40 miles from the border of Vermont and Quebec, but have only been to Canada's French province four or five times. Three were to go to Montreal for Expos games back when there was such a team, and one or two were trips with buddies to bring back cases of Brador beer. Although I've done shows in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia several times, I've never performed in the province that Ilived closest to much of my life.
R: Roselle Park, NJ. I was born in this suburb of NYC, but we moved to Vermont when I was four, so never had occaision to to any shows there.
S: San Francisco. If Vegas is the ultimate gig for stage juggler, San Francisco is the Mecca for street jugglers: Shields and Yarnell, A. Whitney Brown, Ray Jason and others were buskers in San Francisco early in their careers. I spent a weekend there in 1981, and even ran into a friend from back in Maine who WAS street performing - balloon sculpture- and I bought my first set of cigar boxes on Fisherman's wharf, but I didn't do any shows.
T: Tennessee: I've driven through twice, and it's beautiful in the mountains, but no shows.
U: United States Coast Guard Academy: Strange entry,I know. My brother attended here, and we visited him a couple times. I was 14 and just learning to juggle. Little did I know the USCGA had a juggling club who did a performance while we were visiting. This event was a huge inspiration to take juggling from a cool little trick to do for frinds and family and begin to make it a real performance; even, I dare say, a way of life.
V: I got nothing for V yet...
W: Washington DC: I visited here several times as a tourist, once to share hristmas with the DC homeless population, once to catch a movie at a strip mall, and I even attended a prayer meeting in the Capitol building, but I've never performed there. Doing a show at Ford's Theatre is, however, on my bucket list.
X: X-rated movie: Yeah, I'll admit it. My college campus showed an animated X-rated movie entitles "Dirty Duck". It may have been the biggest waste of an hour and a half of my life EVER. Although I have been to that one X-rated movie, thankfully, I never performed in one!
Y: Year of 1975. I was 13 for most of 1975. I didn't learn to juggle until 1976.
Z: Land of ZZZZ's: I've visited the Landof ZZZ's most every night of my life (a few nights of cramming for exams in college excepted). But I've never juggled in my sleep. I've dreamed of getting lost on my old campus, going to work and realizing I was naked, losing all my teeth, and of course, flying, but I can honestly say I cannot recall a single dream about performing.