Mat d and the Profane Saints
Yesterday I was kinda bummed. I was hoping to go on a poker-style run* a friend of mine was sponsoring, but circumstances dictated I’d miss the beginning and end of the ride. (It was for a good cause. A lady my friend knows was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her insurance company pre-approved treatment, so she started on the chemotherapy and whatnot. After several treatments her insurance company was taken over in a hostile takeover. The new owners denied her coverage, AFTER she’d already started the life-saving treatment. So she thought she was covered, but corporate greed and deregulation effectively ruined her life. To add insult to injury, she lost her job too. So the poor lady has a life-threatening disease, horribly expensive payments, and no job. Hence the fundraiser.
Anyway, I couldn’t make the beginning of the ride, so I thought I’d hook up with the run as it went through the neighboring town of Akron and follow the guys for a stop or two. I tootled down the road to Akron, enjoying the beautiful day. Once there I realized I was ahead of the herd, so I sat in the local Legion Hall and had a nice beverage whilst I awaited the thunder of motorcycles. A beautiful day, a nice ride on the bike, a cold beverage, how could this get better?
A guy at the end of the bar stood up. “Well, I’m outta here,” he told the barmaid. “That Dry Creek Music Festival in Hawarden is gonna start in an hour. I gotta go home and get cleaned up before I go see the bands play…”
Music Festival? In an hour? Ten miles away? I’m there! I dropped off a donation for the poker run with instructions to give the dough to Beek and ran out the door, hopped on my bike and roared off to Hawarden.
I only got to see two bands, the Matt Hittle Blues Band and Mat d and the Profane Saints. The Matt Hittle Blues Band played well; I’d recommend going to see them if you get a chance, but I was really excited to see the Profane Saints. I’m pals with most of the guys, and I used to be in a band with the drummer a couple years ago. They’re a helluva band! Go see ’em play. Go to their website. Listen to their stuff. It’s worth it… (Here are some pictures.)
*A poker run, for those of you who might not know, is a fundraiser where bikers all sign in at a starting point (usually a bar) where they toss in some money (usually $20 or so) and are given a score sheet and a map. There are generally five stops on a poker run spanning a distance of 100 to 125 miles or so. The biker heads off to the next location on the map (usually a watering hole of some sort), where the bartender will certify that the biker was, indeed, there. Then the biker will draw a card from a deck and the bartender will write the card on the scoresheet (two of clubs, six of spades, etc.). After five stops, the biker has a scoresheet with five cards. At the end of the run the motorcycle enthusiast with the highest poker hand wins a percentage of the entry fee money, and the rest of the moolah goes to the charity agreed upon. Most winners will keep five or ten bucks to buy a celebratory drink or two with and donate the rest back to the cause. It’s a good deal, so of course the government has tried to stop it… According to Iowa law a poker run is the moral equivalent of gambling, so people have come up with inventive variations to keep the spirit of the traditional poker run alive without having to pay for a gambling license and pay a tax on moneys taken in.