We drive all day and actually cheer as we cross the Iowa line into Missouri. We’re still some hours from Kansas City, but our hearts are perceptibly lighter. We roll in and locate the venue, and get some surprises, all of which send our spirits flying. Van’s entire family from the area has shown up, from much adored baby brother Bobby to sister-in-law Susie, who helped publicize this gig. And I’m seeing not only old friend Phyllis’ (from San Francisco) mother, but a whole table full of folks who are alums of my old high school, come to see the show. We give them one, and after much visiting and catching up, retire to Bobby’s house for the night. Except one band member has a cold, and another wants a better night’s sleep, so eventually three of them wander off to find a motel. A Quality Inn gives them a good deal on a two-room suite, then stiffs them by accepting a cash payment and then charging the rooms to the credit card that was used to hold the room. The clerk was “busy” and didn’t mark the receipt as paid in cash, and by the time the credit card bill came, it was far too late to make any argument. The difference came out of the band account, making it a unique situation in which the room got paid for three times. But we’ll think carefully before spending another night in a Quality Inn, and you should, too.