It’s been an easy life and when I think back, I wish it were a summer morning after a rain and I were loading my bags into the luggage hold of the bus and climbing aboard past Al, the driver, and the bench seats up front to the bunks in back and claiming a low bunk in the rear for myself.
We’re about to set off on a twenty-eight-city tour of one-nighters, two buses, the staff bus and the talent bus (though actually the tech guys, Sam and Thomas and Albert and Tony, have most of the talent and the rest of us just do the best we can). I kiss Jenny goodbye and she envies me, having been on opera and orchestra bus tours herself and loved them.
The show band guys sit in front, Rich Dworsky, Chris, Pat and Pete, Andy, Gary or Larry, Richard, Joe, Arnie the drummer, Heather the duet partner on “Under African Skies” and “In My Life” and Greg Brown’s “Early.”
Fred Newman is here, Mr. Sound Effects, and we’ll do the Bebopareebop commercial about the meteorite flying into Earth’s atmosphere about to wipe out an entire city when a beluga in heat sings a note that sets off a nuclear missile that deflects the meteorite to the Mojave Desert where it cracks the earth’s crust and hatches prehistoric eggs of pterodactyls, which rise screeching and galumphing toward a tiny town and a Boy Scout camp where a lone bagpiper plays the Lost Chord that pulverizes the pterodactyls’ tiny brains and sends them crashing and gibbering into an arroyo, and I say, “Wouldn’t this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie?” and we sing, One little thing can revive a guy, and that is a piece of rhubarb pie. Serve it up nice and hot, maybe things aren’t as bad as you thought.
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By Kate SilverMay 21, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. PDT
In early April, when my husband, Neil, and I had both secured vaccine appointments, he suggested a road trip.
He had been fixing up a sporty old car — one of his many pandemic sanity projects — and wanted to put it to the test, driving it from our home in Chicago to a serpentine stretch of road called Tail of the Dragon, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, straddling the Tennessee and North Carolina state line.
At the same time, I had been thinking about how much I would love to see a couple of friends in North Carolina, a state I had never visited. And why not add places we had been meaning to explore to the list? Nashville, Louisville, and Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park rounded out the itinerary, and our first trip since December 2019 started coming together.