Tag Archives: Long and Winding Road

The 4th Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research

Hey kidz. The Not Now Silly Newsroom is on the move again and will be (almost) live-blogging the entire experience as I go. Just like the last 3 times.

This trip to Canton Township, Michigan, will be by way of Morgantown, West Virginia, to reacquaint myself with the roots of Don Knotts; Toronto, where I have much family and many friends; Detroit, to check up on my family there and see how they’re taking care of Pops; and then Elyria, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; and Centerville, a real nice place to raise your kids up.

But, we all know it’s really Canton Township, Michigan that has captured my heart. Oh, sure, people make fun of it because it’s only a township. But, it has a population of 90,173. That doesn’t seem like much, but that makes it the second largest township in all of Michigan. And, the 11th largest community in the state.




As the WikiWackyWoo is only too happy to reveal:

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 90,173 people, 32,771 households, and 24,231 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,121.5 per square mile (819.0/km²). There were 34,829 housing units at an average density of 789.8 per square mile (304.9/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 72.2% White, 10.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 14.1% Asian (8.0% Indian, 2.2% Chinese, 0.7% Filipino), 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population. 

Which explains a lot. For history buffs, the Wiki also reveals:

The Township of Canton was created by act of the Michigan Territorial Legislature on March 7, 1834 out of a southern portion of Plymouth Township. It was named in honor of the port and provincial capital known historically as Canton, Imperial China, which in 1918 was renamed Guangzhou (Chinese: 廣州; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu) — now the capital and largest city of Guangdong province, People’s Republic of China.


Those damn Commies!

Meanwhile, watch for my updates from the road starting on the 21st.

The 2nd Annual Sunrise to Canton Road Trip For Research



Last year’s Sunrise to Canton Road Trip For Research was such a rousing success, that I am doing it all over again in 2014. However, this year I’m adding a week to the festivities and YOU’RE ALL INVITED!!!

Fun fact: Canton is a township, not a town
Official Wesbite
Wikipedia Entry
Canton Weather
Public Safety Office
Public Library

Observer and Eccentric – Canton
Plymouth-Canton Patch
Canton Videos
Canton at ClickOn Detroit

Things to do in Canton
Attractions near Canton
IKEA Canton

Canton Township
Cornerstones: A History of
Canton Township Families

Seven Fatality Christmas Tree Fire
Encyclopedia of Invasive Species: From
Africanized Honey Bees to Zebra Mussels

Leaving Home to Find Home


HERE’S HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: I will be leaving Sunrise, Florida on the 13th of July and heading north to Michigan. While in the Wolverine State I will be conducting some research, collecting more documents, exploring the 8 Mile Wall, and gathering further historical context for Farce Au Pain.
Naturally I’ll be traveling up and down the I-95 and/or I-75 corridors. If you live somewhere not too far off those beaten tracks — and want the full Aunty Em experience — then get in touch with me privately. We’ll exchange info and I’ll add you to my itinerary.
DON’T BE SHY: Maybe you live too far from those highways, but still want to meet. Why not suggest a halfway point somewhere along the road? We can see if that’s doable. Speak up. Now’s your chance. I’m open to suggestions.
A FUNTASTIC OFFER TO ALL MY MICHIGAN FRIENDS: Just as I did last year, I will be setting up a “Meet & Greet” for all of us to get together. It will probably take place at a coffee shop to be named later. However, I’m open to other suggestions for a Michigan Meet Up because I know my Michigan friends know some incredible places.
NB: I’ll be putting together my intinerary between now and just before I leave on July 13th. However, it won’t get ‘locked in’ until the day before I leave. If you can handle that uncertainty, you’re the kind of people I want to meet.
MAY 28 UPDATE: There are already 5 separate stops booked on the 2014 Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research. So far the trip totals 3050 miles, for a total driving time of 5 days, 6 hours and 4 minutes, give or take a rest stop, or two.

MAY 30 UPDATE: Not Now Silly has added 1 more definite stop — and one possible — on the 2014 Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Research. Amazingly, this adds only 27 miles to the road trip because they are so close to the highway. Confirmed stops on the Sunrise to Canton Road Trip for Researchinclude: Bonita Springs, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Miamisburg, OH; Columbus, OH; Canton, MI; Elyria, OH; and Morgantown, WV; with Cleveland, OH as the possible.

I’ve also recalculated the driving time. That was based on 8 hour days. I tend to drive until I drop, so I’ve asked the computer program (Microsoft Streets & Trips) to calculate the trip based on 11 hour days, which is more realistic. That puts my driving time at 4 days, 2 hours, and 9 minutes.


Read: Not Now Silly and/or Road Trips

The Sunrise to Canton Road Trip For Research

Dear Readers: I am taking a road trip
north for some very deep research into one of my ongoing writing projects in a few weeks. I’ll be leaving Florida on June 11th and visiting folks along the way.

I’m calling this The Sunrise to Canton Road Trip For Research because the bulk of my research (although not all of it) will be in Canton, Michigan. I will also be dragging along my not-so-trusty laptop because — and I’m excited by this — I am in final negotiations to blog my trip for a popular Detroit area web site. Details to be announced. I also plan to blog some separate adventures here at Not Now Silly.

Canton, Michigan Fun Fact:
It has an Ikea.

A FUNTASTIC OFFER: While on this drive I will stop and visit you, provided you don’t live too far off the beaten track.
Message me privately if you’d like the full Aunty Em
experience. I already have 4 people who have signed up. There is still room for 1 or two more, depending on your location.

BUT WAIT!!! THAT’S NOT ALL!!! ANOTHER FUNTASTIC OFFER: Once I am in Michigan I will also be setting up a get-together for all my Detroit-area peeps at a local coffee shop. [Who am I kidding? It’ll be at a Starbucks.] Details to be announced. If you’d like to be kept informed, just let me know.

The return trip will begin on or about June 17th.

I have started testing out all my electronic equipment, making sure all these devices will talk to each other. So far, it’s not going well. I’m glad I started early.


Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be ► The Beatles’ Last Concert

Dateline – August 29, 1966 – Candlestick Park, San Francisco – After an estimated 1,400 live shows and 9 years as a Band on the Run, John, Paul, George and Ringo, collectively known as The Beatles, perform their last concert for paying customers.

The Beatles arriving in San Francisco for the last concert

It had been a Long and Winding Road. From Hamburg to Liverpool. Then all around England, at first. Then the entire world. It seemed Beatlemania would never end. It got crazier and uglier and more dangerous as time went on. By the time The Beatles reached Candlestick Park in 1966, they knew it would be their last show. Even Paul was ready to throw in the towel and he was the Beatle who always wanted to tour and record.

“On our last tour people kept bringing blind, crippled and deformed children into our dressing room and this boy’s mother would say, ‘Go on, kiss him, maybe you’ll bring back his sight.’ We’re not cruel. We’ve seen enough tragedy in Merseyside, but when a mother shrieks, ‘Just touch him and maybe he’ll walk again,’ we want to run, cry, empty our pockets. We’re going to remain normal if it kills us.”

~~~~~John Lennon

“There was a big talk at Candlestick Park that this had got to end. At
that San Francisco gig it seemed that this could possibly be the last
time, but I never felt 100% certain till we got back to London.

John wanted to give up more than the others. He said that he’d had enough.”

~~~~~Ringo Starr

“Thank you very much everybody. Everybody, wonderful. Frisco, butchered.
We’d like to say that, erm, it’s been wonderful being here, in this
wonderful sea air. Sorry about the weather. And we’d like to ask you to
join in and, er, clap, sing, talk, do anything. Anyway, the song is…
good night.”

~~~~~Paul McCartney, introducing the last song at Candlestick Park

“That’s it, then. I’m not a Beatle anymore.”

~~~~~George Harrison, on the plane after the show
The Beatles taking the stage at Candlestick Park

According to Mitch McGeary’s Beatles website:

  • The Beatles took 65% of the gross, the city of San Francisco took 15% of paid admissions and 50 free tickets. This, along with lukewarm ticket sales and other unexpected expenses resulted in a financial loss for Tempo Productions;
  • The oversize tickets were to [sic] large to fit the counting machines at Candlestick and had to be counted by hand;
  • The performance was taped by Tony Barrow at Paul McCartney’s request and is available in bootleg format. The last song was truncated because the recorder ran out of tape;
  • Just before leaving the stage, John teasingly strummed the opening guitar notes of “In My Life”;
  • Wes Wilson designed the concert poster for the show. Wes later on to become one of the most influential artists of the psychedelic movement and designed many important posters for Bill Graham.

Although Candlestick Park had 42,500 seats, unbelievably the ticket sales were sluggish and just over half were sold. Only 25,000 people were on hand to witness the final official concert by the greatest Rock and Roll band to ever come down the pike.

Knowing it could be their last show The Beatles took some commemorative pictures:

“Before one of the last numbers, we actually set up this camera, I think it had a fisheye, a wide-angle lens. We set it up on the amplifier and Ringo came off the drums, and we stood with our backs to the audience and posed for a photograph, because we knew that was the last show.”

~~~~~George Harrison

The 33 minute show had a slightly altered setlist from the other shows on the tour:

  1. Rock and Roll Music (Chuck Berry cover)
  2. She’s a Woman
  3. If I Needed Someone
  4. Day Tripper
  5. Baby’s in Black
  6. I Feel Fine
  7. Yesterday
  8. I Wanna Be Your Man
  9. Nowhere Man
  10. Paperback Writer
  11. Long Tall Sally (Little Richard cover) (with ‘In My Life’ snippet at the end)

One other thing The Beatles did to commemorate the occasion was to ask press officer Tony Barrow to record the show: According to The Beatles Bible:

“At San Francisco airport, as our plane prepared to take off, Paul’s head came over the top of my seat from the row behind: ‘Did you get anything on tape?’ I passed the cassette recorder back to him: ‘I got the lot, except that the tape ran out in the middle of Long Tall Sally.’ He asked if I had left the machine running between numbers to get all the announcements and the boys’ ad lib remarks. I said: ‘It’s all there from the guitar feedback before the first number.’ Paul was clearly chuffed to have such a unique souvenir of what would prove to be an historic evening – the farewell stage show from the Fab Four.

Back in London I kept the concert cassette under lock and key in a drawer of my office desk, making a single copy for my personal collection and passing the original to Paul for him to keep. Years later my Candlestick Park recording re-appeared in public as a bootleg album. If you hear a bootleg version of the final concert that finishes during Long Tall Sally it must have come either from Paul’s copy or mine, but we never did identify the music thief!”

~~~~~Tony Barrow; “John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me”

Beatles fans (and completists like myself) are lucky there was a music thief. That’s why 46 years later we can still listen to the last concert The Beatles ever performed for a ticketed audience. Sadly the tape ran out part way through the last song. However, we still have this record of The Beatles at the height of their live performances.

From this moment through to Abbey Road, The Beatles were a recording band, save for their one brief appearance on the roof of Apple for the Let It Be film (which has still not been released on DVD. Get on that, Sir Paul.)