Roadie Report 85 by Camilla McGuinn
Our Mission From God
During the long year of isolation because of COVID, Roger and I really enjoyed our home. It was the longest time we had ever spent in the house our Father in Heaven had given us and it was a delightful time.
I would forage for food and mail once a week and Roger spent time in his studio and walking in the garden. He never left the home front.
Our kitchen was the busiest it has ever been. Homemade pasta, fresh breads, empanadas and lots of tacos were on the kitchen table and an extra ten pounds on my hips.
We played trivia twice a week via Zoom with two different groups of friends, including Roger’s old band mate from the BYRDS, Chris Hillman and his wife Connie. Our days were always busy and as the night hours approached we always had a smile on our faces.
The years God has given us have been filled with HIS blessings and lots of travel to concerts and cruise ships for lectures. We felt for a moment that it was time to retire, after all the age of 80 sounds old.
Roger’s concerts and cruise lectures are not about work, it is about a mission from GOD! One big advantage of being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is that people don’t walk away when we talk about Jesus. We often laugh that they wouldn’t even say hi if Roger didn’t have an interesting past.
When the theaters and cruise ships opened up again, we knew it was for the real mission we are on – to lift up the Name above all names, Jesus.
I’m writing this at 4am because we just returned home from the Seychelles after Roger’s lectures on the Silversea Shadow. Our return home involved over 24 hours in several different airplanes.
The beginning of the trip from Orlando to Singapore began with a few fiery darts. The gate attendant in Orlando was a bit officious and didn’t like the small cross shoulder bag that held our passports. It was one bag too many. I think she really didn’t like the guitar Roger was carrying and we know that musical instruments by ruling must be allowed on if there is room for it. We had decided to pack 19 days of clothes in two roll-a-boards. Roger had his roll-a-board and the acoustic guitar slung across his back. I had my roll-a-board and a small backpack with my computer and business items and that extra small passport bag. Boy were we in trouble! I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to squeeze the small bag into one of the really packed roll-a-boards. We were the first in line and it was a rush to please the lady.
At our seats we began to laugh and realized this was different. Something was up. Our flight to JFK to catch Singapore Airlines had a 4 hour layover. When the gate attendant arrived at his podium, I decided to let him know that we had a guitar that fits in the overhead or closet and to ask the flight crew where they preferred we place it. Our seats were in business class and usually it is not a problem. Surprise! It was a problem. It is not a domestic carrier and doesn’t go by all the domestic rulings. They took Roger’s acoustic guitar in its gig bag and gate checked it. Oh they did put a “fragile” sticker on it. I was told it would be at the exit door in Singapore.
After I put my bag in the overhead, it remained very lonely for the whole trip. The guitar would have kept it company.
On arrival in Singapore, we were first off the plane. I saw a sign that said all gate checked items would be here. It was raining outside and there was a very long outside stairway leading up to the door. Everyone passed by us as they headed to immigration. We waited. The plane was empty.
Finally I felt inspired to find someone to help. A lady with a walkie-talkie was walking by and I gently begged her to help us find our guitar. She took pity and went looking on the airplane. When she returned she told us to go to baggage claim. It was too wet for the baggage handlers to climb the stairs.
Before baggage claim we had to go to an immigration table that had about 8 small computer screens that every passenger had to use for their immigration questions. All the screens were being used by a group of men from India who didn’t understand how to use them. By now my biggest concern was that the driver sent to pick us up to take us to the Silversea Shadow would leave. An official lady helped each of the gentlemen and then she helped us. We could now enter Singapore, so we could leave it.
At the luggage carousel, we found the guitar laying on the floor. Roger quickly unzipped the bag and strummed the strings. It wasn’t only in good shape, it was in tune. An answer to prayer. I looked out to the greeting area and saw a lone man holding a sign that read “McGuinn”. He didn’t leave us, though he did confess he called the cruise line for directions since we hadn’t showed up with the other guest. They told him to wait. Another answer to prayer.
It was early in the morning but because Roger was a lecturer, they allowed us on to wait on board for our stateroom to be readied. My first question at the reception desk was, “ Who is the cruise director?” It was Vickie! We had worked with her before and she came out of her office for hugs. She told us to make ourselves comfortable and later asked Roger to do an extra talk because an entertainer had a home emergency and had to leave. Of course. We had been working on an extra talk and we would do anything for Vickie.
As we sat in the lobby, we began being greeted by guests we had met before. The Silversea World Cruise has many folks who like to do it over and over. It was like coming home.
The first time Roger gave a talk on Silversea we were surprised when we were immediately inundated with invitations to dinner. There are no set seatings on the ship so guests are free to eat when, where and with whom they please. This was our fourth cruise with this line, so I was ready. I carried a calendar and pen with me at all times so I wouldn’t overbook our dinner engagements.
Life on board is never boring to us because we live pretty much the same way we live at home, except we live it with about 300 people.
As we encounter folks from past voyages and new friends met at cocktails, dinners and trivia we are always waiting for the opening we need to mention the name of Jesus. We had more openings on this voyage than ever before. At one dinner, there was a lady mourning the death of her sister sitting next to Roger and she had spiritual questions for him. Another dinner was hosted by a couple who sometimes watched Joel Osteen, we told them to also watch Father Cedric Pisegna on YouTube since they are Catholic. (Fr Cedric is our Catholic priest, we also have a Baptist minister and Pentecostal teacher) A German group at dinner asked Roger how we met...well that is definitely a GOD story and Roger was very bold telling it. We had cocktails with a friend from a previous voyage and he asked us to name three people in history we would like to talk to. I immediately said Jesus. Roger laughed, “ You always talk to Jesus.” We were blessed with some more opportunities to lift up the precious name of Jesus.
We realized why the fiery darts began our journey but we weren’t ready for the darts that were coming.
After nineteen days on board, it was time to leave the ship for some long flights home from the Seychelles. Oh, by the way, the Seychelles are lovely!
There was a van to carry the cruise lecturers to the airport. We had a two hour wait. The airport is small, so we had to struggle up the stairs with our bags. Roger gifted the guitar to the Silversea Shadow and asked them to treat it like a lending library for passengers and crew. We had too many airplane connections to fret about the guitar surviving the trip home with us, so it felt better to give it away than to have it stolen or broken.
I don’t think I would have made it up the stairs to the airplane door with my two bags if two women hadn’t offered to carry them for me. Roger seemed to do okay even though his knee is bone on bone.
The flight to Qatar was five hours long. When Roger got off the elevator on the way to the amazing Qatar Business Class lounge, he twisted his knee. We waited in the lounge for a little over an hour.
Qatar to Dallas-Fortworth airport was a 17 hour flight. I sat down, put my seat back, covered my head and slept. When I awoke, I saw Roger hobble to the lavatory. His knee was giving him a lot of pain. I was inspired to do something, so I asked the flight attendant to arrange a wheelchair at DFW. I spent the rest of the long time watching the screen in front of me. Finally after a very tasty bowl of Thai chicken and noodles, I chose “Gone With The Wind” to fall asleep again.
Roger and I drive to concerts because we carry 4 instruments and equipment. I had long lost my “chops” for flying and forgot about how large DFW airport has become.
There were greeters with wheelchairs for about 20 people on the plane. We were first off, we waited for all of the chair people to be gathered together. Then the journey began.
We were rolled in a group a long way with an elevator ride to immigration and Customs. Fortunately we have “GOES,” so the attendant took us through immigration and Customs to the recheck baggage point. Even though we hadn’t checked any bags, I was very tired of mine and decided to check it or at least throw it out the window. Our attendant left us and pointed at a door for me to push Roger through. The TSA check point line was short but when we were on the other side I had no idea where to go.
As the line goes, “ I live off the kindness of strangers” and that’s what I kept doing. Where do we GO? We went down an elevator and I asked that question to a person in a uniform. He said we could take the cart to Terminal C. Our position in Terminal D was a LONG way from Terminal C. It was so long that we were transferred to three more carts. It was miles away!
It was at this point that we began praising God for we know that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to HIS purpose. We were thankful Roger hurt his knee, we were thankful to be able to leave the guitar on the ship, we were thankful that I managed to check my bag. If all of those things had not happened, we would have been walking the halls of DFW to this day.
I told my dear friend Jane about the trip and she laughed. “Oh good! The purpose for Roger’s bad knee has happened, now it can be healed!”
My dear friends, thank you for praying for healing for Roger’s knee.
I’m looking forward to that day when he comes walking briskly into my office and says, “ Let’s walk to Trader Joes for dinner supplies.”