The Best of Van Ailin'
Mon., Aug. 14. 2006 5:16pm EDT
If you're a regular reader of the ApologetiX newsletter, you're well aware of the trials and tribulations of the band's 1998 Dodge 15-passenger van. Our latest breakdown and subsequent engine replacement (our third in three years) took place on the way to Chicago on July 22. But that story had a fairy-tale ending on August 11.
You've heard of the Brothers Grimm? Wait until you meet the Brothers Gross. Brandon and Evan Gross have been to quite a few ApologetiX concerts in the past two years, particularly this summer, so you may have met them already. But attending Friday's concert at Kennywood Park was their most impressive feat thus far, even though it was only 40 miles from their home in Connellsville PA.
On the way to the West Mifflin concert, the Brothers Gross drove literally a thousand miles from Connellsville to Baden PA to Rensselaer IN to Baden PA to West Mifflin PA -- driving to Karl's, picking up the truck Rein Bontreger had lent us, returning it to Rein's house and picking up the band van there, driving back to Karl's and then to the concert. They took turns as drivers, with Brandon driving to Indiana and Evan driving back. Thanks, Brandon and Evan!
Wait a minute -- wasn't the band van stuck in a repair shop in Madison WI? How did it get to Rein's in Rensselaer? ApologetiX fans Tim Colford and Rick Bodenhagen took care of that -- a 570-mile round trip. And when they first got to the repair shop, the place was closed, there were no keys to be found, and there was no way to reach the owners. So that trip took much longer than it looked. Thanks, Tim and Rick!
But that's still only part of the story. When the Brothers Gross picked up our band van, they also picked up our old band trailer, which we left in Michigan in May with Randy Reason, when he blessed us with a newer, roomier model. Randy blessed us further (and farther) by delaying his family reunion at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH so he could meet up with the Gross Gang at the Wendy's on the corner of I 280 and I 80. Thanks, Randy!
And we can't forget to thank Rein Bontreger once again. In addition to the fact that he graciously and patiently lent us his truck for three weeks, Rein also washed our van and detailed it with a brand new "Parody Van" logo on both sides! Thanks, Rein!
So please welcome the ApologetiX Hall of Fame class of August 2006 -- Brandon Gross, Evan Gross, Tim Colford, Rick Bodenhagen, Randy Reason, and Rein Bontreger -- all elected by unanimous vote. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: God has blessed us with the best fans and friends in the world!