“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing.”
–from On the Road by Jack Kerouac

No other quote I could think of could ever come closer to representing the most colorful and unique people I’ve ever met in my life. Luckily, I didn’t have to look further than my favorite book, the amazing individuals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, or the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit over the last year to find inspiration for my column this month.

I usually don’t carry my camera around at shows when I don’t absolutely have to. The damn thing is just too heavy. I do, however, have a very intimate relationship with my cell phone, and it very rarely leaves my side. This batch of photos comes directly from my iPhone and is just a small sample of the hundreds that are eating up valuable hard drive space. Why don’t I just delete them and make room for incoming “urgent” emails from my many bosses or a ton of silly apps instead? Without all these frozen little capsules of time, how would I remember my first swig of apple pie moonshine? (I’m waiting for that next slice, Jonn Farr!) What better way could I remind myself to cut down on all the greasy fast food I tend to eat while on trips? Why would I ever think of passing up an offer of blue Jell-O shots from the tiny fridge inside an RV belonging to people who I’ve never met before? Who else other than my buddy Dusty Briley would I call to get my back in a gunfight while in Louisiana? And most importantly, where would I be without these reminders of the unforgettable times ahead while I’m stuck rotting for hours on end in some airport terminal dropping letter bombs on Words With Friends? (Sorry luckygirl62, guess you weren’t so lucky this time around, huh?)

These pics have been compiled while on the road for the Lakefront Tour, the Gathering, ShowFest, and Slamology—my first few destinations of 2011. The next few months of ol’ calendar pages are bleeding with red ink spots marking my remaining stops for the show season. It’s going to be a fun summer, and I’ll really need to invest in a backup cell phone battery. See you soon!

–Editor