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  • Writer's pictureJosiah Howlett

Where's Witless?: The Return of Witless

Hello, hello! I have been MIA for a while now, and I’m sure many of you are truly wondering where Witless is. Well, never fear; for I am here to fill you in on the latest part of my journey.

So, when we last spoke I was in Ridgecrest, CA. After Ridgecrest, Sage and I hopped in our #LittleRedTruck and made our way to Winnemucca, NV. On our way there, I was feeling really sick. My throat was so sore and my whole body felt really weak. But, I hung in there and was able to survive the seven-hour car ride there. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Winnemucca, mostly because I had never heard of it before. But with a name like "Winnemucca," it was bound to be amazing; and once we got there, I instantly fell in love. We stayed on a farm kind of out in the “country” part of the town (I put that in quotations because I’m not sure if they have country parts of town on the West Coast). The older couple that housed us were AMAZING. Upon arrival, the wife greeted us with a hug, and I immediately felt at home. Seeing horses and fields surrounding the house reminded me of my old Kentucky home, which made this week feel even more special.

I was lucky to have this extra comfort, because as we started our week, I learned that the sore throat and weakness I had been feeling was the result of a pretty serious case of strep throat. However, I did not let this get me down; and after starting my antibiotic, I was ready to tackle the rest of the week’s activities. We had a great cast this week, and we had a wonderful time bonding with our hosts. They treated us to a delicious Basque meal at an historic hotel-turned-restaurant, and they even took us out for breakfast before we left that Sunday. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Winnemucca.

The last stop of our summer tour was in Baker City, Oregon. We had successfully worked our way up the coast all the way from Arizona (I hit three new states along the way). I was excited to go to Baker City, as the word “city” made me think we were going to be somewhere with a larger population than the smaller towns we had visited the past few weeks. Boy, was I wrong. Baker City was a sweet little town with very little to do. However, our contact put us up in a house we had to ourselves, which was a nice way to end the tour. The week went very smoothly, as many of the cast members were older and were really fun to direct. It was a relaxing last stop of our summer tour. (Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures from this week, so who knows if it really happened?)

After Baker City, Sage and I drove all the way back to Missoula for check-in. This is when things took a dark turn. During check-in, we had to unload all of our stuff in order to prepare for the next leg of our tour. Since Sage and I are continuing on for the full year, we didn’t have a ton of work to do. It was so nice to see some of our friends we made during training, as well as some veteran tour actors whom we had never met before. However, that sore throat and weakness I had been feeling in Winnemucca returned, and this time it was far worse. During the second day of check-in, I was freezing and my body started to ache as the day went on. I tried to take a nap to sleep it off, but even after taking medicine, none of my symptoms had subsided. By the evening, I felt like an absolute piece of garbage and started to worry that something was seriously wrong. So, I climbed (seriously, like off the floor because I was so ill) in our #LittleRedTruck and drove myself to the emergency room. I won’t bore you with all the medical details, as it took awhile to really figure out what was wrong. I was lucky that this sickness came when it did, though, because we had a two-week break right after check-in before our fall tour began.

So, I flew home for the break and visited an ENT in Lexington, KY. The sweet doctors told me that my tonsils were badly infected with several rare strands of strep throat (SOS), and that they needed to be removed. So, my two-week break turned into a five-week break, as I had to undergo a tonsillectomy. This wasn’t as bad as it sounds, though. Sure, the recovery time for a tonsillectomy when you’re an adult is long, but I was just so thankful to finally have my tonsils out. I had been getting these kinds of infections frequently for years, and I was afraid it would affect my career. However, now that they’re out, I’m hopeful I won’t be sick as often as I used to be. To celebrate, here are some pictures of my cats keeping me company as I recovered:

The five-week break was nice, even though the majority of it was spent resting in bed. However, I was excited to start our fall tour, especially since we would be traveling on the East Coast this time. My first week back on the job was in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. I was thrilled to be touring so close to home; it made the transition back to work so easy. As if that weren’t enough, our week in Mount Sterling was one of my favorite tour weeks so far. First of all, our host family was incredible. We stayed with a Mount Sterling mayoral candidate and his wife. The pair treated Sage and me like royalty, and our week in their home was super comfortable. On top of that, we had the most amazing contact. Her name was Jansje ("yawn-see" as she told me with hand gestures when we first met), and she took her job as our contact very seriously. Upon meeting her, she provided us with a basket of local Kentucky goodies and made sure we felt right at home with our host family. Later in the week, she took us on a tour of Ruth Hunt Candy, where we all got some delicious local treats. We tried bourbon balls fresh off the conveyor belt, and the employees gifted us with a free box of chocolate covered candied orange peels. Janjse even bought a tin of ginger bark to share with me. It was incredible!

After our tasty tour, Janjse took us to the local arts center to show us around. The arts council converted an old Methodist church into a beautiful center for the arts. I was so impressed with how much the community of Mount Sterling appreciated the arts. Though it was so close to home, I had never really visited before and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. But by the end of the week, I was so glad this was my first stop on our fall tour. Here are some pictures from the arts center as well as from around downtown Mount Sterling:

Now, Sage and I are on a break for two weeks before we head to our next location. Hopefully I can stay on top of this now that I’m back in action. I guess we will see after our next stop! Until then!



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