Garms Family Road Stories: Mosquito Problems
“Oh no, we don’t have a mosquito problem,” the promoter assured us.
Famous last words.
We were setting up for an outdoor concert at a beautiful retreat center in Wisconsin, and were slightly concerned about a possible mosquito attack as the evening wore on. The promoter, with his thick Swedish accent, said, “We have not had mosquitoes during any of our concerts all summer. We don’t have a mosquito problem.” Despite his assurances, we were still worried and made sure we had plenty of bug spray.
The audience was warm and responsive and we were having a fun time connecting with the crowd. Toward the end of the concert, in fact, the last song, something began to change. The song we were closing with was an emotional arrangement of “My Jesus I Love Thee”, and usually, all the people are riveted listening to Mom communicate the song. Well, the audience was attentive until suddenly someone in the middle started slapping. Several other people began to slap their heads, arms, and thighs. A wave of slapping people, beginning in the middle, moved over the entire crowd. With horror, we knew what was happening: it was a mosquito problem, a big mosquito problem.
Well, singers and instruments are not exempt from mosquito problems. The insects attacked. A large mosquito landed right in the middle of Mom’s forehead, and sat there for the rest of the song, causing a large welt to grow on her forehead. Mosquitos swarmed around Sam as he sat on his drum throne, and he, trying to swat a few, starting hitting random cymbals quite accidently, adding an unique flavor to the song. Taylor couldn’t concentrate on singing because of the mosquitoes buzzing in front of her eyes and was slapping mosquitoes in between mandolin chords. Leesha was slapping mosquitos off of Ben as he attempted to play guitar.
Needless to say, the crowd evacuated the area immediately after the song.
Did we mention we still had an hour and a half of tear down? We had placed all of our instrument cases in the grass before we loaded the instruments, and, if you live up north, you know full well mosquitos live in grass. It was a torturous night and we itched all the way home.
This year we drove up to the same retreat center for a return concert. The promoter told us upon arriving, “Well, you know, we haven’t had a mosquito this entire summer until just this week, and they are the little ones with a biii-g bite!”
We had a wonderful time – INDOORS!