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Book Reports

Sep 23

Back in the USA

"Back in the USA"......had a great time in the UK. Nancy and I flew over "Business Class".....used every frequent fly-er mile I had saved up and boy was it worth it! I guess I won't be flying again for a while, have to save those miles....I didn't want to get off the plane when it Landed! Took an hour to figure out the big seat....I kept ejecting myself....

We visited in London for 3 days with our friend Cris and then headed to the Jersey Channel Islands to visit with our oldest UK friends, The Tillings. (They aren't really that old). The weather was perfect...70 degrees and sunny for the entire 17 day trip! The Brits were delighted as they had a terrible Summer with lots of rain.

Bob and Thel had tickets for 'The Mickey Rooney Show'....amazing....we loved the first half as Mickey had a Jazz trio backing him up. He told stories and showed film clips with a running commentary that was quite amusing. After the break, his Wife (8TH)...took the stage. Said she was singing country music when she met The Mick 35 years ago and that she'd like to sing a few. Ten Patsy Cline numbers later, Mickey joined her and they sang and joked until at last the the finale came. "we'll see you in the lobby after the show, make sure you stop by to say hello and buy a CD with all the tunes sang in tonight's show", he said. It was kind of sad that Mickey Rooney was at the point where he had to sell the cds....

I wanted to say hey from 'Florida', but didn't want to get in line, so I went in the back way and shouted "Hey Mickey, hey...." He looked up and started yelling at me...."Get in the line, no jumping the line....." We laughed about that for the rest of the trip!

A few days later in The London newspaper, a reporter Interviewed The Mick. The headline shouted, " What is 5'3", is 87 years old, has had 8 wives and a temper like a volcano! Asked by the Mick if she was coming to the show that night at the completion of the interview, the writer said,"I've already been to a show!"

We loved our time in Jersey, my show at the Art Center was great, The fold up OUTDOOR GUITAR, slayed the crowd and sounded great.

Nancy and I flew back to Gatwick and she flew home the next day. I stayed on at the hotel for a second night before continuing the tour. Waking up with lower back pain my first morning alone, I was worried how I would manage. I put the OD guitar in my rolling suitcase and got a small bag which slid over the handle for my extra clothes and stuff. I couldn't believe that all my gear was on wheels and that I had a free hand to help me maneuver along as my journey continued! Got my "Senior Rail Pass". and off I went. Bristol, Stamford, Crawley, and Rye were all on the the rail routes.

Met Matt at the Stamford gig and he informed me he was going to the guitar workshop at The Rye Arts Festival later in the week...I asked if he was going to drive thru Crawley...long story short, he said that he would arrange to do so. What a break for me. Matt picked me up at my hotel and we had a great ride to the South Shore of England. He was a film editor for the BBC and we had lots to talk about. The workshop and the gig were great! We stayed at a B&B in Rye a few blocks from the venue. Our rooms were in a building built in 1530! The pub down the street was built in 1387! They don't make'm like that anymore...

After a walk around the old town the next morning, We took off for our journey North. Stopped in Hastings for a coffee with an ocean view, walked out on the long pier and enjoyed the view and ended up at Gatwick Airport by 3 Pm. I will be forever in Matt's debt for saving me the trauma of the 3 train journey I avoided!

At the airport I checked into a "YOTEL" cabin. These rooms are modeled after the Japanese hotel cubicles designed for space saving convenience. It was not unlike being in "The Bus". A bed on one side with TV screen (Internet service included) on one side, The shower-toilet-sink on the other side and a space in between, wide enough for a suitcase on a stand and that's it! Room service was available and it was only a short walk to all the airport facilities. I liked it!

Next morning I headed to the "Business Class" Lounge for breakfast and espressos and readied myself for the journey home. So cool to be in the VIP short lines for check in, customs and nice... I am really spoiled now. Was only worried that Mickey Rooney might be on the plane... but he had 20 more gigs....

Great flight, My pal Amy picked me up in Cleveland and I was back in 'the bus' by 10pm. "There's no place like home..."


More later

The Book