Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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as of February 18, 2018

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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)
02.14.18Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
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)
01.29.18How to Donate Online or by Mail
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
01.18.18The Principal and the Parodies
01.18.18New Single: Tears for Fears & Alanis Morissette
01.16.18New Single (80s & 90s)
01.10.18ApX Lead Singer on ESPN Again This Weekend
01.10.18Fan Will Match Donations Up to $5000
01.10.18You Don't Need to Be in the USA to Enjoy Our USB
01.10.18Clues for Our Second Single of 2018
01.08.18Get All Our Parodies on USB
01.08.181100 Tracks for $100
01.08.18New CD BOGO Ends Sunday
01.04.18California Fan Comments on New CD
01.04.182017: The Year in Review for ApologetiX
01.04.18The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
01.02.18How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
01.02.18Get Multiple Downloads for Any Size Donation
01.02.18New Single for a New Year
01.02.18BOGO Special on New CD Ends Sunday
12.31.17Get Multiple Downloads for Any Size Donation
12.28.17Buy Our 50th CD, Get 1 of 26 CDs Free
12.28.17Get Our Complete Library on USB
12.28.17How to Donate Online or By Mail
12.28.17Shirts in Stock in Seven Sizes
12.28.17Clues for Our Last Single of 2017
12.21.17ApX Christmas Videos on YouTube
12.21.17After the Gift Rush: What if You Order Now?
12.21.17ApX Inspires Fan Who Then Inspires ApX
12.21.17New Single: 2 from Our 25th Anniversary Show
12.18.17New CD in Stock, Order Today for Christmas
12.14.17How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
12.14.17So is it Alexa-getiX or Apol-alexa?
12.14.17Clues for This Weekend's Single
12.14.17What's New on the New CD?
12.14.17Complete Your ApX Christmas Playlist
12.14.17Deadlines for Delivery Before Christmas
12.07.17The Story Behind the Title of Our New CD
12.05.17ApX Alum Becomes Amazon Prince
12.04.17Buy Our 50th CD, Get 1 of 26 CDs Free
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

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)