I recently took a road trip over to South Louisiana to spend some time with some girlfriends that I don't get to see very much. It was an awesome time...nothing like old friends and all that. In order to get to our meeting point, I had to travel through much of southeast Texas, more specifically, Port Arthur, part of the Golden Triangle in Texas and the birthplace of one of my heroes, Janis Joplin.
I have been a Janis Joplin fan since junior high, when I declared her to be the coolest rebel chick I'd ever heard about and began to listen to her music pretty much non-stop. It was one of those "I'm so misunderstood and Janis was so misunderstood and ohmigod, we have so much in common" kind of things. My mom was a little concerned....namely because my proclaimed "hero" was a bisexual drug addicted hippy who died of an overdose. But, you know, it was all about the MUSIC, man!
Anyway, so road trip through Port Arthur...I google something like "Janis Joplin memorial" and find out that there is a really cool statue that was commissioned by some bad-ass sculptor dude and it is somewhere in Port Arthur. Okaaayy....but where? And as a side note, let me just tell you that there are areas of Port Arthur that you don't want to just be driving through unawares...so, after more googling, I figure out that it's either in front of, near or actually inside the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame Museum. So I call them.
And here's what went down:
Rashad: Thank you for calling the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame Museum. This is Rashad. How may I help you?
Me: Hi Rashad. I have kind of a random question for you. I'm in the area and would really like to see the Janis Joplin memorial statue, but I can't figure out where it's located in Port Arthur. Could you tell me where it is?
Rashad: I don't know.
Me: *pause* You don't know?
Me: Didn't I just call the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame Museum?
Me: And you have no idea where a statue of Janis Joplin, who is a female blues singer from Port Arthur, would be located?
Me: Oooookay. Is there anyone else there who might be able to help me?
Rashad: Um, hang on.
Steve: Thank you for calling the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame Museum. This is Steve.
Me: Hi Steve, I'm trying to find out where the commemorative statue of Janis Joplin is located in Port Arthur. Do you know?
Julie: Hi this is Julie, can I help you?
Me: Julie? What happened to Steve?? Oh well, whatever....okay, Julie...you're like the third person I've talked to. So, here's the deal, I'm looking for a statue of Janis Joplin that is somewhere in Port Arthur. Do you happen to know where?
Me: *incredulous silence*
Julie: Okay, I googled it and it looks like the one that we have here in the museum in our Janis Joplin display on the 2nd floor.
Me: Okay, so it's actually *in* your museum.
Me: And you have two employees there who had no idea that was the case?
Me: Awesome....just so we're clear on that. Okay, so what are your hours and admission fees and whatnot?
Julie: We're open daily from 10:00 to 6:00 and it costs $4.00 for adult admission to the museum.
I feel like I just ran a marathon.
And still? No picture of the statue, me with the statue or even visual proof that the statue does, in fact, exist.
Rashad, Steve and Julie, you guys ROCK.