A few days ago, my wife realized that Farmer Jason was doing a two-week gig at the Indiana State Fair -- three shows a day just under two hours down the interstate in Indianapolis. This morning we packed the van and headed east to thrill the kids with some live Farmer Jason.
For those of you who don't know, I've long been a fan of Jason and the Scorchers and couldn't have been more excited when front man (and fellow Illinoisan) Jason Ringenberg started recording children's music as Farmer Jason just about the time that Amy and I started having kids. Our kids all love Farmer Jason and I love the fact that they do. Even more, I always enjoy putting on an old Scorchers album and watching their looks of slight confusion when they hear "Farmer Jason" doing quite a different style of music.
So our plan was to get to the fair in time to catch Farmer Jason's 12:30 performance, but due to some rain and the fact that we parked on the complete opposite side of the fairground from where he was performing, we got to the tent about ten minutes into his set. Nevertheless, our kids eyes widened with excitement and Farmer Jason had their full attention.
Closing out his set, he was just about to play Mason's favorite song -- Punk Rock Skunk -- when another boy in the small crowd requested something different. Then, with the 12:30 show in the books, Farmer Jason graciously offered to stick around and greet any of the kids who might want a picture with him and, of course, we took him up on the offer.
We talked for a few minutes about the kids' love of his music and their dad's love of the Scorchers. We chatted about Central Illinois living and how the fields look great at this time of year. Wanting to let Farmer Jason go about his business, we thanked him for a fun show as the girls and I left the tent. Looking behind us, I was surprised to find Mason and Amy lagging behind. It was clear that Mason was in deep conversation with Farmer Jason.
"At bedtime I listen to your CD of Punk Rock Skunk."
Realizing that he was about to play that song at the end of his set and hadn't, Farmer Jason asked us if we had plans to return for his 2:00 show. Unfortunately, we would gone by then.
Then, without hesitation, he invited us back into the tent.
You, Jason Ringenberg, are a class act. Thanks for treating my kids like they were the only kids on the planet. Even for just a few minutes.
I think my kids were a little star-struck when it came to meeting Farmer Jason in person. That's okay, though. I admit that the only star-struck experience I've ever had in my life was the first time I met Jason Ringenberg.
But that's a story for another day.