My second trip to the city of St. Louis turned out to be infinitely more enjoyable and more memorable than when I first went there in 1996 for Boys Hope Orientation. Thom Wall and his band of merry jugglers put on a FANTASTIC event. I knew it was going to go off when I saw the website and the sweet logo one of the members had drawn for the fest--super cool. Another glance at the website revealed to me that there were going to be a ton of heavy hitters at this one--Tony Pezzo, Jen Slaw, Josh Horton, Doug Sayer, Frida Odden, and representing the West Side, my boy Kevin Axtel. And go off it did. Watching Thom and his minions on Friday afternoon stick funny names for each full bore trophy for the games on Sunday gave me a warm feeling of anticipation. Highlights in no particular order include:
Friday night juggling with the large numbers who showed up. Hitting 741 with clubs for the first time. The workshops I taught. The workshops I took--Jen and Frida's workshop was a great one-two punch. I was sweating and laughing at the same time--Brilliant! The Public Show--freaking AMAZING! Thom and the crew's public show performance--instant IJA medal if they want it. Pezzo's public show performance--ice cold solid. Doug Sayer's public show performance--fun and juicy. My own public show performance--just a few piddly drops with good energy from the crowd. The after party--juggling in the kitchen and watching Josh pull off ridiculous 360's under a low roof. Papa John's, Beer, and talking to Lisa on the phone outside the apartment with Kevin and the crew. The Sunday Games--inside and out, one of the best games I've ever attended. Fun for all ages, with my personal favorite being the 4 ball sprint relay. My boy's got SPEED!!! The nice walks to and from Thom's apartment with Kevin and Thom. Last but not least, Thom Wall--this guy should run the IJA festival. No joke.
To check out the National Prestigious Society of Collegiate Jugglers, click here
To read the rec.juggling St. Louis fest HLGCB thread, click here
To see videos from the 2008 Public Show, click here