Day 49 Oliver Winery in the afternoon, Chicago at Midnight.

Bud & I hung out at his farmhouse and fed the horses, chickens, and pheasants. His crazy dogs were something else too, running around jumping up and down on us and on each other. Then he took me to his barbershop and after that we went to Oliver Winery as I headed up to Chicago in the late afternoon. The drive to Chicago was a piece of cake. I arrived around 9pm, and finally met up with the McIntyres around midnight. They were all staying at the Palmer House Hilton, smack dab in downtown Chicago. I parked on the ninth floor of the parking garage. The Phoenix would remain there for 48 hours. I would go back and forth to the truck all weekend to get equipment, clothing, and other possessions. It was very safe, and convenient. The Palmer House Hilton is by far and large the nicest hotel accommodations thus far on the haul. We were on the 20th floor in this incredible Presidential suite. When I arrived, the great city glow was awesome and intimidating. This was my first visit to Chicago. Pre-thought anticipation had created heightened expectations. Chicago is downright cool, a friendly city with a lot of soul. Everyone was out when I arrived. They were at John Barleycorns for the post rehearsal dinner party. I took a cab down to look for them, but no one was to be found. While in the cab, I turned on my official Tripp recorder for a covert conversation, with the foreign cab driver, great material. Then I went back to the suite and was just about to fall asleep when the last-callers crawled in a bit messy. T-Bird was there and Goggin, Sully, Jimmy Mac, Jenny, and various cousins. They managed to order a 5am pizza and then pass out, the pizza came and woke up the Doctor. He was confused. Tommy and I retrieved the pizza from the lobby. Everyone passed out all over the suite, under the dining room table, sitting upright in chairs, on couches and on each other. I did not sleep. I just closed my eyes and checked out the insides of my eyelids for a few short hours.