Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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06.20.18It's a Nice Day for a Non-ApX Wedding
06.20.18Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
06.20.18How to Donate Online or by Mail
06.20.18Corny Commentary on Our Last Single
06.20.18USB Thumb Back Drives in Stock
06.20.1822nd ApX Episode on Radio This Weekend
06.20.18Clues for This Week's Single
06.15.18Quebec Pastor Plans 8000-Mile ApX Marathon
06.08.18Urgent Prayer Request from African Missionary
06.08.18Recording Update: You Can't Make This Stuff Up
05.29.18Fan Will Match All Donations This Week
05.24.18Update: What's Going On & What's Gone Wrong?
05.21.18Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
05.18.18Three Great New ApX Videos
05.18.18ApX in Grade School in the Great White North
05.18.18ApX on 30 Different Music Services Worldwide
05.15.18New Single: London & the Land of Lincoln
05.10.18Four Touching Testimonies We Had to Share
05.10.18How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
05.10.18The Delightful Dozen: 12 Notes from 12 States
05.10.18Encouragement from Abroad
05.09.18From an Oregon Pastor and Night Ranger's Sound Tech
05.09.18ApX Helps Reporter Recover from Tough Meetings
05.04.18Prayers for the Other David Cassidy
05.04.18Video of the Week: I Love Apostle Paul
05.04.18Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Here's ApologetiX
05.04.18Clues for Our Ninth Single of 2018
05.02.181150 Tracks for $100 (Extended Thru Thursday)
04.27.18Oregon but Not Forgotten
04.27.18ApX Helps College Student Help Others
04.27.18Get Our Complete Library for $100
04.27.18600th Song is Here, New Songbook is Coming
04.21.18Pastors Use ApX Parodies in Church Services
04.21.18400,000 World Magazine Readers to Discover ApX
04.21.18ApX Interviewed by American Family Radio
04.21.18Another Station Adds New ApX Radio Show
04.18.18New Single: 2 Rockers from the 70's
04.16.18New CD Deal Ends Tonight (Get 1 of 27 CDs Free)
04.13.18Music to File Taxes By: ApX Playlist for April 15
04.12.1812th ApX Episode on Radio This Weekend
04.11.18Clues for Our Eighth Single of 2018
04.10.18New CD Deal Ends Soon
04.06.18Bittersweet Testimony from Eastern PA
04.06.18Encouragement from 10 States (Plus Canada)
04.02.18New Single: The Nazarene & The Gadarenes
03.31.18Kenya Believe It? ApX is "Greatest Band Ever"
03.31.18Woman Moved to Tears by ApX Video
03.31.18What Songs Are on the New CD?
03.29.18This Weekend's Single Includes an Easter Treat
03.23.18ApX Passion Week Radio Special This Wkd
03.23.18Kudos from VA, IN, FL, WY & Canada
03.23.18Fabulous Fan Mail from France
03.22.18Here's the ApX Easter Top 40 Playlist
03.17.18More Encouragement from Far and Wide
03.17.18Fans React to Our New Single
03.17.18The Title and Theme of Our Next CD
03.16.18More ApX on the Radio This Weekend
03.14.18New Single: 2 Bands We've Never Spoofed Before
03.09.18Prayers for Keith Haynie's Sister
03.09.18From a New Fan in Manitoba
03.09.18New Clues for You: This Weekend's Single
03.06.18We Need Help, but Good Things Are Happening
03.02.18Encouragement from a Former Atheist in Iowa
03.02.18ApX Album Changed Maryland Man's Life
03.02.18ApX Aids Brothers in Arkansas
03.01.18ApX Video Was Just What He Needed
02.27.18ApX Releases 100th Single (2 New Parodies)
02.23.18Happy 50th Birthday, Todd Waites!
02.23.18Mississippi Man Announces ApX Plan
02.23.18Encouragement from an Educator in Ann Arbor
02.22.18Here Comes Our 100th Single/EP
02.22.18Clues for Our Fifth Single of 2018
02.16.18Fans React to Our Latest Remake
02.16.18New Batch of ApX USB Thumb Drives in Stock
02.16.18Scottish Blog Interviews ApX Lead Singer
02.16.18ApX on the Radio Again This Weekend
02.14.18New Single: Bad-Boy Bands (Not Bad Boy-Bands)
02.09.18Another Station Adds Weekly ApX Radio Show
02.09.18ApX on the Air in Remote Alaska
02.09.18Clues for Our Fourth Single of 2018
02.07.18Happy Birthday, Chris VonBartheld!
02.06.181100 Tracks for $100 Ends Saturday
02.02.18One Good Testimony Deserves Another (from Canada)
02.02.18New Fan in Washington, Old Fan in Alaska
02.02.18Beam Us Up, Scotland!
02.01.18More Stations Add New ApX Radio Show
01.30.18New Single (2 Killer Bs)
01.29.181100 Tracks for $100 Extended Another Week
01.26.18Apol-Annoyance in Austin
01.26.18MI Pastor Speaks Frankly to ApX
01.25.18Clues for Our Third Single of 2018
01.24.18Prayers for ApX Fan Deborah Huff in ICU
01.22.181100 Tracks $100 Ends Soon
01.22.18New Radio Program Will Feature ApX Regularly
01.22.18Pastor Looks Back on 19 Years as ApX Fan
01.19.18Special Request from ApX's Chris Von Bartheld
01.19.181100 Tracks for $100
01.19.18Get Multiple Downloads for Any Size Donation
01.19.18How to Donate Online or by Mail
01.19.18Encouragement from a Pastor in NC

This Past Weekend in IN, IL & WI (Van Ailin' III)
Tue., Jul. 25. 2006 12:15am EDT

Stop us if you've heard this one before: The ApologetiX van has engine problems and breaks down in a Big-Ten college town while heading towards Chicago IL. God provides in unusual ways through the kindness of others and the band is still able to do the concert (albeit late), as the staff at the venue works like a NASCAR pit crew to help the band get ready. Van winds up at a shop in Madison WI.

Sounds like our May 21 episode on the way to our concert in Goshen IN, doesn't it? Actually, it's a report from our July 22 concert in Chicago -- almost exactly two months later!

Last time, we were heading east toward Chicago (and eventually Goshen IN) from a concert in Minnesota when the van broke down near Madison WI, home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers. This time, we were heading west toward Chicago from a concert in Indiana when the van broke down near West Lafayette IN, home of the Purdue University Boilermakers.

One of the major differences this time is that the engine in question is under warrantee, because it's a reconditioned engine we had installed after our ordeal in May. That's how the van wound up in Madison WI again; the shop that installed that engine came and retrieved the van. We'd thought for several weeks that it hadn't been running quite right, but it's not easy taking it back to the shop that did the work when they're located almost 600 miles away!

Thankfully, Saturday's breakdown was "only" 275 miles from the shop. Furthermore, Saturday's breakdown was only 125 miles from the venue, unlike last time, when it was 270 miles away. That's a good thing, because the flatbed tow truck that came to get our van broke down shortly after picking us up!

Well, it didn't actually break down, but the "stop engine" light came on -- not the "check engine" light, mind you -- the "STOP engine" light. (We wonder sometimes if the "check engine" light on our van is a typo and it's really supposed to say "wreck engine.") The driver had to pull off the road several times to investigate the situation, and he nursed it the rest of the way to a spot in Gary IN where we'd asked him to drop the van off.

Ironically, the driver looked quite a bit like Bill Engvall, the comedian on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour who always says "Here's your sign." Sure, we know what most of you are saying: ApologetiX, if you're wondering whether to get rid of that terrible van, "Here's your sign." (By the way, the "terrible van" mentioned in our song "We're in a Parody Band" was actually our bass player Keith Haynie's old Ford Aerostar van. That's the one that broke down in "Philadelphia late at night" back in 2000. But our current model, in use since November 2001, has certainly proven to be a worthy successor.)

Thankfully, the first place our tow-truck driver had to stop to check the engine was Rensselaer IN, which just happens to be the home of our old friend Rein ("pronounced "REEN") Bontreger, and his family. We called Rein and told him we were in town if he wanted to have a quick visit, and he hopped in his car with his wife, Suzie, and oldest daughter, Aimee. We were just down the road from his house, and that was quite providential, because Rein offered us the use of his pick-up truck, which just happened to seat five and have a trailer hitch, for the rest of the weekend.

It wasn't the first time Rein had come through for us. The owner of his own graphic-design company, Rein helped design and construct props used in both our "Downer of a Sister" video and "Samson Comes Alive: An Evening With ApologetiX" DVD. He also manufactures the ApologetiX stickers we sell at concerts.

It wasn't even the first time Rein had helped us with our van situation. He'd never publicize this fact himself, but since the Apostle Paul often acknowledged the charity of other brothers, so will we: Rein and his family also gave us a sizable financial contribution back in 2003 when the van blew out its engine and its transmission on the same road trip.

Rein's company, Reinforcements Design, specializes in shirts, hats, stickers, signs, and graphics. If you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website: http://www.reinforcementsdesign.com. You'll recognize the company's flaming rhino logo, which we proudly display on the side door of the ApologetiX van.

Thank you, Rein, and thanks to the rest of your family: Suzie, Aimee, Tori, and Asher.

Special thanks also to Pastor Robert Belfort, the promoter of Saturday's Chicago concert, who came to meet us in Gary IN, when the tow truck dropped off our van, so we weren't all crammed in Rein's truck. Pastor Robert also drove three of the band members an hour to the hotel afterward.

Our drummer, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner, asked us to mention how much he enjoyed talking to Pastor Robert on the way from Gary to Chicago. "The whole time we talked about who our favorite drummers were and swapped some cool stories about them as well."

Thanks also to:

Our concert coordinators for this past weekend's concerts: Pastor Joshua "Roethlisberger" Kennedy (Sheridan IN), Pastor Robert Belfort (Chicago IL), and Dr. Jim Boots (Kimberly WI). Although the van had problems, the concerts all went very well.

Our merchandise coordinators: Beth, Emily, Kristin, Jon, and Nancy (Sheridan); Beth, Diana, Arlene, Sabrina, and Anna (Chicago); and Chris, Brandi, and Alex (Kimberly).

Van Aillin' III
Diary of a Bad Van:

Massive steam coming out of the thermostat. Hopefully, it wasn't hot long enough to do damage to the head gasket. If that's the case, just taking it out will get us back on the road! How many cell phones does it take to get the motor club to get the tow truck dispatched in case there WAS damage to the head gasket? Two.
While we're waiting for the tow truck, and hoping we won't need him, Karl removes the alternator, the serpentine belt, the air intake, the top hose, and eventually, the thermsotat. Starts right up, but the acid test is the exhaust pipe, and sure enough, there's antifreeze coming out the exhaust. Even though we pulled over before it even overheated, it was too late for the head gasket that keeps oil gas and water separate.
Just in time for the tow truck to get there (90 minutes after we called- not bad for the middle of nowhere!) Our beloved Van in its natiural habitat!
NO WAY! The TOW TRUCK breaks down! But guess where? Right at the exit where ApologetiX superfans, the Bontregers live! Rein Bontreger's graphics design company is called REINforcements, and they sure did arrive!
A fond reunion then it's off to borrow the Bontregers' truck! J and Hubie head back to the Bontregers. With the tow truck good to go, Jimmy, Keith and Karl ride with "Dave" to ride out the rest of the 100 miles he's allowed to tow us on the motor club. We called the promoter and he was to meet us at the 100 mile point.
And that took us to Sears. We dumped the van off, jumped into the promoter's Yukon and headed to Chicago. Later, we discovered there was PLENTY of room in Rein's truck for all of us to ride. Jimmy, J and Karl in the back, Keith and Hubie in the front, and it was a party bus! The next day, we flew two of the guys home (Hubie had Monday morning responsibilities and Karl had to get to the studio)