Yesterday I promised my new friend Brick that I’d pick him up and show him a whole new world outside of Hastings, MN. We rode all the way to Wisconsin and took the picture you saw at the top of this page. Brick wanted a picture of himself in front of the “Welcome to Wisconsin” sign to prove that he had been there, otherwise his friends and family would never believe he had ventured to such a far and distant land. In Brick’s mind, being a brick in exotic Wisconsin was every bit as special as being an Italian gray ashlar.
But the real fun occurred on our way to Wisconsin. There is a brand new bike trail that runs along the Mississippi River and it connects Hastings to Prescott, WI. But we didn’t take that. Instead, we opted for a longer route on some quiet country back roads.
It was a gorgeous day. Seriously gorgeous. Gorgeous enough that I was able to ride in shorts for only the second time this year. Gorgeous enough that I was hoping the sun might provide a little color to my snow-white legs and arms. Ahhhhhhhh, it felt so nice, and the one thing that could top it all off would be a little music. Through the magic of movies, I came up with a soundtrack. I had something I wanted Brick to hear.
I have to apologize. I am very disappointed in how the musical soundtrack was recorded in such miserable lo-fidelity. You might have to crank your volume way up to hear it. It certainly did not meet my usual artistic standards, and you can rest assured that the incompetent sound engineer has been fired and will never work in the film industry again.
I think I was an 8th or 9th grader when I got “Thick as a Brick.” It was the second album I ever bought (after Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bayou Country”) and I played the hell out of it for the next year or so. At the time – in the early 70’s – I thought it was pretty groovy how the band filled an entire album with a single song. I also thought Ian Anderson’s cynically obscure lyrics were poetic genius. Now I think of them as pretentious nonsense. Nevertheless, Brick and I had fun listening and singing along on this gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous day.