Surprise Rainfall, Terrible I-80 Crash, Ribfest ripoff?

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Good morning everyone!

It’s Trisha getting things started today.

When I woke up to lightening and downpours at about 2:30 this morning (yep – painful but true!) I thought I must have just not been paying good attention to the forecast. It happens.
But it turns out I wasn’t just out of the loop this time- no one saw the rain coming! It was supposed to stall out before getting to Iowa, but it somehow gained enough strength to make it here (Jeriann calls it a “weak disturbance” that dropped around an inch of rain.)
BOTTOM LINE – I don’t care WHY it rained, I’m just happy for the lawns, flowers, and crops that desperately needed it!

By now many of you heard the tragic news that two children, ages 10 and 13, were killed when an SUV rolled over on I-80 yesterday. The driver, an adult passenger, and one child survived. The paper reports the kids were not wearing seatbelts. I sense this will be the topic of our follow-up report today.
I happened to be driving to Iowa City yesterday and got caught in the enormous traffic tangle because of the crash. I knew it was bad when I was at a dead stop on I-80 (eastbound near Newton) and saw the lifeflight helicopter come in. After about an HOUR of being stopped, a trooper came by and told drivers to turn around, and drive backwards down the closed interstate to the closest entrance ramp. It was surreal seeing people out of their cars, walking around the interstate, then finally having to backtrack the wrong way down the highway to get out of the mess. (The shot I got here was part of the detour through Newton. We eventually gave up on our plans – just too tough to get through.)
My 4-year-old, Calvin, was getting very impatient. “Honk at them, Mom! Tell them to go!” Somehow, I kept my cool. I knew there was something much more serious and tragic happening than a traffic jam, and my plans were not of life-or-death importance. My heart goes out to the families involved.

Sen. Barack Obama has the most in his campaign war-chest so far ($34 mil), closely followed by Sen. Hillary Clinton ($33 mil). Isn’t it incredible how much cash it takes to get people’s attention today? Blows me away.
I went out to the RibAmerica fest with some friends yesterday to watch Ian play with the Nadas, and saw Pat and Sally and some of their friends out there too. I think we all agreed – the music was great, the food was pretty good, but the PRICES were outrageous. You had to spend $10 to get 7 tickets- and 5 tickets got you a measly 3 ribs. A beer was 4 tickets. Basically, you had to spend 20 bucks per person to get any kind of meal – plus the three dollar admission. And – no grass to lounge in. It was in the Events Center parking lot.

The highlight for me (aside from hearing the Nadas play – they sounded great!) was hanging out in the backstage VIP area after the Nadas got done, and as Big Head Todd was on stage. Sometimes it’s fun to be a band wife!

(Right: Nadas manager, Tyler, with a very serious-looking Ian. Left: Ian with Cal’s new buddy, Mitchell, and Mitchell’s dad -Nadas singer-guitarist Jason Walsmith.)
It was cool to see the setup they had for the performers and their families – plenty of free food and beverages, and the nicest porta-potty unit I’ve ever seen. Seriously – that’s what my friends and I could not stop talking about on our way home. I’ve never come across something like this – a huge trailer that was just like a public restroom, air conditioned, with about five private stalls, and real running water in the sink.

(It was kind of like the one on the right)

A sign on the outside of the unit called it the “Crowd Pleaser.”

I wish they could prove it’s cost effective and talk most outdoor events into switching from the typical hot, stinky, cramped porta-johns to this luxurious model!
Hope you enjoy your Monday!



  • Anonymous

    Those rib things are indeed a huge ripoff. You’d spend less going to a good restaurant and getting a nice big full rack.

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Yeah – totally. I guess because you’re getting the concert for free maybe they can justify hiking up the price of food, but still, I’d rather just buy a $10-20 concert ticket, and pay less for the food. Seems more fair that way.

  • Heather R.

    I was going to go to RibFest this weekend until my friend text messaged me Friday to advise me of the prices. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time going down there Saturday. Instead we made our own rack of ribs on the grill for much less :) I am glad it rained, however, Justin Sacher is in trouble!! He said it wouldn’t make it to Des Moines, so I left my car windows cracked cause it was so hot out and at 3am this morning I was running out in the rain to shut my windows!! I was not a happy camper running out in shorts and a tank top with my hair standing on ends! Have a good Monday.

  • Anonymous

    We went to the rib fest on Saturday night paid our admission and then saw the prices. Compared to any other event I have been to I was horribly disapointed. We left, ordered a pizza and will not be going back next year. I was also really shocked at Mustartds and Famous Dave’s .. we could have turned around and gone to their restaurant and had the same thing for cheaper.

  • Amy

    Rain rolled through and took our patio umbrella with it. Found it stuck in our front lawn, broken of course. Had no idea it was going to storm…oops! Hopefully umbrellas are on sale!

  • Anonymous

    I got free tickets to the VIP area yesterday. You walked right in front of me as you were leaving and I was going to get a beer. I almost yelled out “hey, There’s Ian Shepard’s Wife” but you didn’t look in a joking mood so I chickened out…Yea, the prices for food were unreal. I wouldn’t have gone if I wouldn’t have won free food tickets also….

  • Angi

    Isn’t amazing that the sight of life flight can make you go from nearly road rage to sad and guilty in a matter of moments? There is nothing more tragic than children without seat belts dying in a car accident. Very sad.

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Angi – so true. Makes you really stop and think.Anonymous from Rib Fest – Don’t chicken out next time, I don’t bite! I love being called “Ian Shepherd’s wife” – it’s all so absurd having people know you who don’t really know you, that we just have to laugh at ourselves!

  • C

    Pst… it looks like you have a fingerprint smudge on your camera lens, Trisha. Perhaps a little, kid-sized fingerprint? (I can’t really talk, I’ve always got puppy-nose prints on mine!)

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