Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"Hail, Mary?" or "Just our Lu(bbo)ck"

This is the story of our trip to Lubbock, TX. Everything you are about to read actually happened. We CAN'T make this stuff up:

Orin and Shannon traveled to Lubbock, Texas this weekend to be part of a music festival called "Praise on the Plains", which was sponsored by the Diocese of Lubbock. Orin had commitments in the St. Louis-area on Friday night which kept him from flying to Lubbock until Saturday morning, but Shannon headed to Texas on Friday afternoon. Friday evening was relatively uneventful. Shannon met up with Greg Ramzinski, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Director for the Diocese of Lubbock, met Jessica Volcanzik of Entertaining Angels Ministries, and re-connected with Matt and Jason of Catholic Remnant Apostolate, who we had met at NCYC in the fall.

The next day, Shannon, Jessica, and Greg made their way to the site of the festival. The morning was overcast, drizzly, and cold, which ordinarily wouldn't warrant a mention, but this wasn't to be an ordinary day. At the time (and even stll now), much of the state of Texas was experiencing a terrible drought. Therefore, even a little rain would have been a great answer to a lot of prayers...just not ours.

The sound and light engineers spent much of the morning battling the rain and cold to get the festival ready. At 11:30am, while ! we were actually running about 1 1/2 hours behind, the first band was on stage and getting ready to do a sound check. That's when the weather took a turn for the worst. All of the sudden, the skies opened up and released this unbelievable hail storm. That's right, I said HAIL! Within about a minute, the ground was nearly white with little BB-sized pellets of hail. Needless to say, the event was cancelled, disappointing about 100 people gathered underneath the concession/merchandise tent who had braved the weather to hear some Christian music. At that point, Shannon decided that they should get to hear something, so he gathered musicians from Remnant Catholic Apostolate, The Rock Band, and Jessica from Entertaining Angels Ministry and played about two hours worth of music. They basically played anything they though the concert-goers would know and be able to sing along with. Generally, people left with smiles on their faces. By that point, Orin had arrived and, after a quick lunch, they made their way back to the hotel to rest for a while. The rest of the evening was fun, getting to hang out with Greg, Samira, Scott (almost the emcee of the event), Matt and Jason from Remnant, Matt's wife Angela, and their son, Sebastian. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for (what we thought) was a good nights sleep before a 7am flight to Dallas and then on to St. Louis.

At 2:30am, Orin's cellphone rings. The 7am flight had been cancelled. After some discussion and near-arguing with the agent, Orin and Shannon got afternoon flights set up. The weather in Dallas had really screwed up the airport though, so much so that our 4:30 flight didn't leave until 8pm! In Dallas, we missed our connection (obviously) and luckily got on the last flight out, supposed to leave at 10:30. At 12:15 the next morning, it finally got off the ground. We landed in St. Louis about 1:15, Orin got home about 3am, Shannon at about 5am. Ack.

So, nothing against Lubbock or Texas in general, but we're glad to be home. And not stuck in a Texas airport anymore. And glad we're not flying again anytime soon.


  1. Thanks for sharing Shannon!! Glad you're home safe and sound........although the trip probably wasn't anyhting like you expected, I bet it'll put a smile on your face whenever you think about it. I believe that there is something about those unexpected challenges in life that we're able to experience and survive that leave us better off somehow.

  2. Hey guys, i'm u guys got home safe. Nice story, it's probably a good thing that u 2 aren't in texas any more, no offense to any texans!! <3 ya

  3. My name is Anne Clanton. On the weekend of Praise on the Plains, we took 15 youth from our church, St. Elizabeth's in Snyder Tx to attend the concert. This was our first "official outing" as a youth group. We were so disappointed when the event was cancelled HOWEVER those of you who stayed to praise and play for us were truly AWESOME. It was so great for our kids to be a part of your praise.. We went to see Fr. Stan Fortuna Sunday night at Our Lady of Guadalupe-another wonderful experience. Just know that even though you had a difficult time traveling to and from our great state--you impacted many young lives!! THANK YALL and know that YALL are always welcome here. GOD BLESS.

  4. That doesn't sound like something you could make up. It sounds like some of our outings and experiences during the good old days of CYO back in Belleville. As always, you have been known to take an not so pleasant experience and turn it into a memorable one!

  5. I know that I got to make two new friends. You guys are awesome and I'm sure we'll bump into each other many more times in the future. I look forward to actually seeing you guys in "action." Don't let the bad weather fool you...Texas is a great place to be.

  6. I haven't been here in a while and as I looked at the title of this post I said, "Oh Orin" pretty dissapointed (but not surprised by) his horrible pun/word play thing. When I was informed that it was SHANNON'S idea... for shame.
    Next thing you know Shannon will have a keytar.