Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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12.11.1750th CD in Stock, Get 1 of 26 CDs Free
12.07.17How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
12.07.17Complete Your ApX Christmas Playlist
12.07.17Deadlines for Delivery Before Christmas
12.07.17Shirts in Stock in Seven Sizes
12.07.17Get Multiple Downloads for Any Size Donation
12.07.17The Story Behind the Title of Our New CD
12.06.17ApX on USB and Under the Tree?
12.05.17ApX Alum Becomes Amazon Prince
12.04.17Buy Our 50th CD, Get 1 of 26 CDs Free
11.29.17How to Donate Online or By Mail
11.29.17The Stories Behind Our New Single
11.29.17Update on Our Upcoming 50th CD
11.27.17ApX Needs Holiday Help & Prayers
11.27.17New Single: American-Made 70's & 90's Hits
11.23.17Get Ready for Our 50th CD
11.23.17Thanksgiving Song and Video for You
11.23.17Clues for Our Next Single
11.23.17Fan Says Thanks for "Thankfully" Song & Video
11.21.17Thanksgiving Message for Fans
11.17.17New Single Spoofs British Invasion Bands
11.17.17Tinch Gets Married & Celebrates Anniversary
11.17.17ApX Songbook Useful While Awaiting Auto Repairs
11.17.17Trunk or Treat with ApX Near Harrisburg PA
11.17.17ApX Over the Office Airwaves in Ohio
11.15.17Tinch Celebrates His ApX Anniversary
11.13.17New CD Deal Ends This Wkd (BOGO)
11.10.17ApX Adventures in Odyssey: Mag Makes Mention
11.10.17Steffi's Story: 12 Years of ApX in AZ
11.09.17Cluing You in on Our Next Single
11.07.17New CD Deal Ends Soon
11.02.17New Single Spoofs '69 & '71 Hits
11.02.17Texas Praise Band Plays ApX for Church
11.02.17ApX Affects Radio Request Line in TN
11.02.17Live Moose: ApX Alum to Host Benefit Show Saturday
10.29.17Jimmy "Vegas"Celebrates a Dozen Years with ApX
10.27.17The Late Great Next ApX Single Due This Weekend
10.26.17What's Up with the 25th Anniversary CD & DVD?
10.26.17New USBs with Complete Library in Stock
10.26.17Fan Mail from a Family of 10 in Alaska
10.21.17Amazing Testimony from a Fan's Son in AZ
10.21.17Michigan Men Go to Green Bay for ApX Experience
10.21.17From Foster Care to Adoption to ApologetiX
10.21.17What You Need to Know About Our Next Single
10.20.17San Antonio Pastor Encourages ApX
10.20.17What Songs Are on the New CD?
10.13.17From a Dad in Connecticut
10.13.17Amazing Things God is Doing in Iran
10.13.17A Tribute to ApX Friend Millie Gerbo
10.12.17ApologetiX in Green Bay Saturday (25th Anniversary)
10.12.17From a Foster Mom in Colorado
10.11.17ApX Alum Drummer Needs Alabama Musicians
10.10.17Buy Our Next CD, Get 1 of 25 CDs Free
10.07.17The Title and Theme of Our Upcoming 49th CD
10.06.17Next Saturday: ApX 25th Anniv. Concert Midwest
10.06.17Join J. & Jimmy for a Special Show This Sunday
10.06.17New Single Spoofs The Cars & The Raspberries
10.04.17New Single, Help & Prayer Needed
09.29.171050 Tracks for 100 Bucks Ends Saturday
09.29.17Help & Prayer Needed
09.28.17Clues for Our Next Single
09.26.17The Latest News from the Man Called Moose
09.25.17Half Off CDs, MP3s & DVDs Ends Saturday
09.25.17Half Off & 1050 Tracks Deals End Saturday
09.20.17This Looks Like a Job for an ApX Fan
09.18.17New Single Spoofs 70's & 80's
09.17.17New Single Spoofs Tunes from '70 & '83
09.14.17Clues for Our Upcoming Single
09.14.17Powerlifter Pumps Up ApX with Encouragement
09.01.17Encouraging Emails: Eight is Enough
08.29.17Is There a Missing Churchigo EP?
08.28.17New Single Here at Last
08.26.1725th Anniversary Lapel Pins Now Available
08.26.17Anniversary Shirts Available at Last
08.26.17New CD BOGO Sale Ends Sunday Night
08.26.17About This Weekend's Single
08.18.17So How Did Things Go at the Anniversary Show?
08.18.17ApologetiX in Green Bay in 2 Months
08.18.17ApX Keyboardist Todd Waites Has New Video
08.18.17Anniversary Shirts Available for Order Soon
08.05.17ApX: Safe Bet for Sunday School in Reno
08.05.17ApX Parodies Touch Deep in the Heart in Texas
08.05.1725th Anniversary Shirts Coming Next Week
08.05.17Big Show is One Week Away, 80% Full Already
08.02.17New Single Spoofs 2 Hard-Rockin' Classics
07.29.17Clues for Our Next Single
07.29.17ApX Played Nationally on 700 Stations in Australia
07.26.17ApologetiX Needs Help & Prayer Again
07.20.17Minnesota Couple Will Reunite at Anniversary Show
07.20.17The Story Behind Our New Song "Works"
07.17.17New Single (California 80's-Style)
07.14.17Clues for Our Upcoming Single
07.07.17Send Us Your Video for the 25th Anniversary Show
07.07.17Fans from 28 States Coming to 25th Anniversary Show
07.06.17New Single (All 80's), New CD Mailed to Fans
06.30.17Clues for This Weekend's Single
06.30.17Get a Custom ApX Lapel Pin
06.23.17What Songs Are on Our New CD, Zebraic?
06.23.17New CD in Stock, Buy 1 Get 1 of 28 Titles Free
06.23.17New Single Spoofs 'Til Tuesday & REM

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)