The boys arrived at the bus in the sweltering Florida sun. It wasn’t too bad in the shade but the moment you stepped into the light it was H.O.T! Nevertheless they were in good spirits. They got to spend two nights with their host families and formed great bonds. On the bus ride to Clearwater, Stewart asked the boys about their host homes. One threesome got to do a photo shoot on the host’s motorcycles, instead of “wild hogs” they were labeled “wild boys”. The boys told all about how their host family spoke spanish, how they watched Harry Potter, and how they played with the host’s three year old son. They really liked his toys. Some boys actually got into a Nerf gun fight with their host family. After their stories, Cole brought to the front of the bus a newspaper with the Choirboys on the front page. Resurrection Catholic did a really great job spreading the word about Tuesday’s concert. This was the same church that interviewed Aaron and Sam Anderson earlier on tour. Sam’s interview was in the paper. On the mic, Aaron announced to the boys that they made the front page of Lakeland’s paper, and someone called out “We’re famous.”
We arrived at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium around 10am, and enjoyed an arRAY of exhibits and presentations. The boys got to see Winter, the star of “Dolphin Tale”, and touched stingrays and sea urchins. The aquarium had sea otters, sea turtles, and pelicans on display as well. It was around noon when they were all finished with their visit.
The bus ride to Lake City was short. Stewart took some time though to play poker with the boys in the back. Reece wanted me to make sure I wrote in the blog “Stewart owned us in poker”. Jake was the Officer of the Day today. “You can do anything or be anything if you try” was his Quote of the Day. His Word of the Day was “Belief”, and he chose “Fireflies” as his Song of the Day. Several boys sang along.
We made it to St. James Episcopal Church around 4:30pm, and the boys went straight to their tour jobs. The kind people of St. James grilled burgers for the boys, complete with potato salad and a delicious orange marshmallow fluff. They also got watermelon which is extremely tasty down in the South. Ben really liked the burgers, “It’s like heaven between two buns”.
Tonight’s concert went well. The Q&A time is always interesting. It’s fun to hear the questions from the audience and the answers from the boys. Tonight someone asked “What made the first year guys decide to join the choir?” Tristan Wellman got to tell his story. He had gone to an LOLCB Day Camp a few years ago, but it wasn’t good timing for him. He later was asked again by his schoolmate Ethan Rud to join. That’s when he took the big step and joined. Another person asked, “Are any of you worried about that moment when you wake up and you can no longer hit that hight note?”. Several older boys raised their hands. The final question was a fun one, “Who’s the biggest prankster?” ALL the boys slowly turned their heads to Chris Hess. 😉
After the concert, everyone went to the Fellowship Hall to have some cake and cookies. The boys met their host families and are now home with them. One lady stopped by my table and raved about our program and how much she loves the boys. People see good things come out of them: their manners, their singing, their maturity. She was happy to hear there are programs like ours in our world.
Tomorrow we start heading north. Our next stop is Columbus, GA which is only a hotel stop. The next day the boys get to visit the National Civil War Naval Museum and make their way to Birmingham, AL.
I hope you all enjoyed the Facebook Live video tonight. I’m sure you are now looking forward to hearing the rest of the concert on the 30th. You won’t be disappointed.