"Camilla, why haven't you written the blog
I didn't know how to
answer Roger. We have been on some wonderful adventures thanks to his long
career in music, but something was stopping me from writing about them. I
wasn't sure that our adventures would be of interest or maybe just sound so frivolous
in light of the turmoil in the world. Maybe I just had the "writer's
block" that I've heard about. Not that I can call myself a writer. I know lots of them, and they all talk differently. Well I'm sitting here now and very
interested in what comes on the screen from my fingers. There is a reason I'm here today, but I will get to that later.
The spring of 2016 was filled with concerts in the northeast.
We have a rule about not driving north of Interstate 40 between November 1st and April 1st. I have driven in enough snow
storms to last me for the rest of my life but our rule didn't pan out. Our trip
to Woodstock, VT was dusted with snow. It wouldn't have been so bad except the
GPS decided the shortest way over the mountain was the best, the cell phones
lost signals and the road got narrow. We decided something was wrong, so we
slowly backed up, got on a larger road and hoped it would lead us to Woodstock. I
think I will carry a paper map with me from now on and maybe change our travel rule
to begin on May 1st.
|Roger and Jakob Dylan|
While we were in the North we stopped in NYC to record a video with Jakob Dylan for a project he has been working on. Roger is always surprised at how the children of his friends have grown into adults. We're still surprised by his adult sons.
My favorite tours are when we see people we know. In June we
flew to NYC to see Tom Petty inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Roger
was honored to be picked by Tom to deliver the induction speech. We were told
that it shouldn't be longer than 90 seconds. The first words Roger said after
he had sung "American Girl" was, "Not everyone got that
message." It was a long night.
We were also happy to see another friend that night, Elvis
Costello. He was being inducted too and we finally got to meet his lovely wife,
Diana Krall. Elvis always makes me smile with his genuine enthusiasms about
Tom invited Roger to join Mudcrutch for two concerts in the
city after the ceremony, so we had a few days to explore. Our hotel was in the
theater district, so I thought it would be fun to explore the "old New
York" scenes. We quickly found Sardi's and made friends with two
bartenders, Joe, who has been there over thirty years and Jeremy. Jeremy told
us that he was going to Tom Petty's concert the next night. We laughed, not
sure if he knew Roger but over the next couple of months, he got to know us
well. The upper bar in Sardi's is a place I now recommend to our friends when
they travel to the city. Walk into Sardi's, turn right, walk up the stairs then turn around to find the bar. Say hi to Joe and Jeremy from us.
The month of July was spent enjoying our home. That is a
treat we seldom get and we weren't even sure we would like it, but it was fun!
Walking every morning to Trader Joe's to buy dinner supplies, then coming home
and jumping in the pool to cool off.
Buzz Aldren held the Share Space Foundation's Apollo 11
Anniversary Gala at the Kennedy Space Center on July 22 and we happily
attended. Spacemen are a favorite of ours. A special guest was George Takei, Mr. Sulu from Star Trek. Roger was
lecturing on the Queen Mary 2 on one of the transatlantic voyages the same time
George was. We have all found a wonderful way to get to and from Europe.
In September we hit the road with our unusual summer tans for
concerts in the Midwest. After the Green Bay, WI show, we stopped in Oshkosh
before the show in Waupun. The hotel was next to a family run restaurant. What
we didn't realize was that everyone who walked into the bar became part of the
family. By the end of our dinner, we were all joking with each other on a first
name basis. I was a major source of laughter when I tried to pronounce Waupun,
our next concert city. I don't think I ever got it right.
The tour took us back across the country to New Jersey where
we had time to stay at one of our favorite hotels, The Sheraton, Lincoln
Harbor. Two fun days were filled with riding the ferry to NYC, exploring old
landmarks, stopping at Sardi's to invite Jeremy to the Bergen Performing Arts
Center show and introducing Patrick,
Roger's son, to the Sardi's experience.
|Sardi's decorated for Christmas|
On Thanksgiving Day, we arrived in NYC on Amtrak's, Silver
Meteor. The train pulled into Penn Station shortly after the Macy's parade had
ended. We were amazed how easy it was to get a taxi. Roger was scheduled to
give two lectures on the Queen Mary 2 for the voyage to the Caribbean. Before
we boarded the beautiful ship, we had a day to find our Thanksgiving feast.
Well, that's not a good idea on Thanksgiving Day in NYC. All the restaurants
are on a fixed menu and the reservations are booked. I'm not a big fan of a plate
of turkey with the "fixins" but I had an idea. Juniors, a famous
deli, was just across the street. I told Roger to chill the champagne and I
would get us dinner. Those turkey sandwiches and the bottle of gifted Champagne
from friends was one of my favorite traveling Thanksgiving Days. My favorite
Thanksgivings are when we have time to invite 30 friends to come to our home
and cook and cook for three days.
After the voyage, we were sitting in the airport waiting to
board the plane back to Orlando.
Sitting next to Roger was a man from St. Thomas. We had been
there years ago looking for Creeque Alley from the Mama and Papas song. Roger
mentioned our search to him and he told us that his last name was Crequee and
the alley had been named after his family. He also corrected us on how to say
the name. It's not pronounced "creek alley" it is pronounced "creekee alley." How can
we ever understand our steps? I'm always in awe.
Well I've finished the highlights of 2016 and there is a
funny story coming about our trip to Hong Kong in March of 2017, but the real
reason I wanted to write today was because last night I realized it was
Memorial Day Weekend.
Roger and I don't have cable. Our television watching
consist of a lot of PBS that is broadcast over the air. After dinner we began
watching a show about Alaskan Natives
who served in Viet Nam. Then there was another show about the Doolittle Raids
over Japan during World War 2.
I watched the shows with tears in my eyes because there is a chest in my room that protects a "Purple Heart." My father received
it after he was shot in Viet Nam.
Aaron was 17 when he ran away from the orphanage, lied to
the recruiting officer about his age and joined the Navy. He was sent to the Pacific
to fight the Japanese on board a destroyer as a hospital corpsman. One of his
older brothers couldn't get into the Navy because of an eye problem, but the
Army took him and sent him to Europe as a gunner on a tank and that's where he
After the war Aaron went back to the orphanage for a reunion
and that's where he met Minnie. They were married and had a son who they named after Aaron's army brother.
Aaron stayed in the
Navy and when the Korean war broke out, he was sent to Korea. It was his second
In 1969, I graduated from high school, my brother and I both
went to college and daddy went to Viet Nam. This wasn't like the other tour of
duties. He was stationed on the front lines with the First Marine Division. He
was the senior corpsman and was responsible for sending out the young corpsman
with the patrols . I met him in Hawaii for his R&R with my mother. He
walked slowly off the plane and looked 30 years older. My mother figured he
wouldn't want to stay on the military base and she was right in finding a small hotel
for us. The first thing he said, "Let's get off this base." We were
together for a short time, then he sadly boarded the plane back to Viet Nam.
The next time I saw him was in the hospital in Norfolk, VA.
He had been shot by snipers in the leg, but the alarm that shocked the doctors enough to send him to Alaska was his blood
pressure. They had to evacuate him. He spent his twilight tour, the last
station of service before retirement, in Norfolk. He retired from the Navy with
30 years of service and three wars. He was 47 years old.
After the retirement dinner, he went to work for DuPont in
Richmond, VA as a health officer. He died quickly one night of a stroke. He was
52 years old.
Memorial Day is a day that should be remembered. It's not
the wars we remember, it is the people, all the people who sacrificed and
suffered. The warriors and the innocents. Roger and I have visited Viet Nam twice. I wasn't sure I wanted to go
there, but I'm glad I did. The people are so precious, the country is
beautiful. The elders don't talk about the American War. But we will remember!
|Navy Corpsman Spaul|
World War 2
A photo he sent to me. He never wanted me to worry.
Just before going to Viet Nam