I have a confession to make…I have one more “first year” boy to tell you about. His name is Thomas Leibig. This dimple-faced ball of energy is 10 yrs old and lives in Maple Grove. He thinks tour has been good. This is his first tour, which means he’s learning the rules of tour, “like when we go to the pool”. He also said there’s definitely longer rest periods, and he didn’t expect the long bus rides, and being rushed so much. He likes the host homes, and likes the time spent with host families. It’s one of his favorite things about tour plus the pool and hiking. Here some more questions I asked him…
What do you want to be when you grow up? “A marine biologist”
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? “Turn into animal, because animals are cool and I could feel like an animal.”
If you had three wishes, what would they be? “Seeing a big shark (one’s you don’t find in the aquarium), people would stop poaching, if I could speak to animals.”
If you could be anyone in the world for a day, who would it be and why? “George Washington, because he was the first president. I’d like to feel what it’s like to be a president”
If you could time-travel, where and when would you go? “Before the United States, and in the United States; when vikings discovered it.”
Thomas, you are a joy to get to know. Thank you.
Now onto the day…
Throughout tour the boys maintain daily journals. The first thing they do on the bus is write in their journals, and then once they’re done, they submit their entries to Stewart. Some boys are very good about it, and other boys take a little bit longer to finish their entries. It is a must to finish a journal entry before a boy continues with his day. Today, there was a BIG threat. If anyone wasn’t done with their journal, their involvement at Cedar Point would be severely delayed. The boys know this reality very well, and today they had a collective moment of rejoicing for one boy in particular who finished his journal. Initiated by his conscientious choir brother, the whole bus congratulated the boy with a loud round of applause; not in jest but in sincere empathy. Even near the end of tour, the boys look out for each other with the deepest respect.
But I’m not sure they’re keen on looking out for their staff. Fifteen days into tour, and now, on the bus ride to Port Clinton, they decide to break into “this is the song that never ends…”. We knew it was too good to be true, having worked hard to keep that delightful song (only to the boys) from resonating in the bus’ close quarters. Just like the song, I guess it’s a tradition that will never end, no matter how hard the staff keeps it from the boys’ consciousnesses. What would tour be without the sudden outburst of “This Is the Song That Never Ends”? And what would tour be without stopping by a Cracker Barrel for a meal? We stopped in Willoughby, Ohio today to have lunch at the rustic restaurant. Once the boys found out, they were ecstatic.
From Willoughby we continued on to Port Clinton where we would check into our hotel. On the drive there, the boys enjoyed the Disney movie “Holes”. You know, the one with Shia LeBeouf “before he wasn’t cool”. When we got checked into our hotel overlooking Great Lake Erie, we were off to Cedar Point amusement park. Only a couple of the boys had been to Cedar Point before. They were the ones who toured with Aaron a few years back in this same area. So, naturally, most of them had never seen nor been to the Roaster Coaster Capital of the World. Since the amusement park is built on an island, we had to take a bridge to get there. While on the bridge, the crowd in the bus came to a stand still when they saw the massive park across the bay. One boy loudly exclaimed “It’s looks like Valley Fair on steroids!” This is what the boys had been so excited about for the past couple days.
As is every time the Choirboys patronize an amusement park on tour, there were groups of boys who did the extreme rides and those who did the more tame rides. All the boys enjoyed their separate preferences. It was a chilly day on the island, and time was limited but they enjoyed every moment they could. Even at the end of the day while they were finishing up their shopping, the boys were giving piggy-back rides, dancing with the lights on the street, and talking about how awesome the rides were.
While they all talked about their experiences at Cedar Point on the bus ride back to the hotel, I interviewed another graduate, Tristan Christiaansen. Tristan is 15 yrs old, lives in Elk River/Zimmerman, and this is his 2nd farewell tour. He was a graduate last year but came back for another season, much like Mr. Wellman. I asked what he thought of tour, now that he’s REALLY moving on…”It feels like a normal tour. I think it’s going to hit me like it did Thor, 5 minutes before I get home.”
What will you do with your extra time now? During summer I’m going to do football stuff, and will do Cambiata next year.
What has been your favorite moment as a Choirboy? When I first got into Nordic Choir.
What was your favorite activity on tour? Cedar Point.
What was your favorite Choirboy event this year? Broadway, Beatles, and Boys.
Have you ever sang Happy Birthday to yourself? Yes. What was it like the first time? You’re asking a lot there because I have to go back to when I was 6. I don’t remember.
What is your favorite book? Percy Jackson and the Harry Potter series.
What is something that worries you? I’m not really a worrier. When I do it comes in little spurts then it’s gone.
Who inspires you? Roddy White (retired football player from the Falcons). He’s very dedicated to what he does and what he believes in.
Thank you, Tristan, for always being a tremendous Choirboy.
And so, tonight got to be a late night for the boys, so they’re fast asleep now and resting for their trip to Petoskey, MI; where they’ll be singing the penultimate concert of their 2017 tour. They’re nearing the end of tour, and the excitement now turns towards home. Although these extraordinary boys are ready to be home in their own beds, they are also ready to end their tour strong with two more amazing performances.