Unless something totally unexpected pops up here in the next few days, we are finished with our touring schedule for 2012.
And what a super way to wrap it all up!
We had packed houses Saturday night in York, Pennsylvania, and Sunday afternoon in Saratoga Springs, New York. The fans were extremely gracious to us…sharing their smiles, their applause, and even their gifts with us. One gentleman brought me a large wooden bowl that he’d had specially handcrafted out of about a dozen different kinds of native wood in Alaska. My name was written into the wood in a contrasting color. I’ll get a picture of it for you to see. It is quite a remarkable piece of handiwork, and I appreciated it very much.
At our evening show in New York, some of our sneaky fan club members went through the audience prior to the show collecting signatures for a mammoth birthday card which one of them presented to me later on stage. I was standing there holding the card, virtually speechless, when the entire crowd broke into singing, “Happy Birthday,” to me. I can’t remember that ever happening before. It was very special. Thank you.
I took my sixteen-year old granddaughter, Caroline, with me on this trip and she had a blast. She helped with the selling of our merchandise, smiled for a lot of pictures both by herself and with her PawPaw, and tried her best to stay awake to see as much of the countryside as she could. When I last saw her in the wee hours of Monday morning, she was sitting in the front lounge of the bus trying to stay awake long enough to see the lights of Buffalo.
I hated to tell her that we were only a few miles from Niagara Falls, but we didn’t have time to get off the main road, stop, and go see it. That’s always been one of the problems in living the kinds of lives we live in this business. We go everywhere, but we seldom get to see anything.
I told her about the first time I was out west and we passed a sign that read, “Grand Canyon – 10 Miles.” We kept right on trucking toward our destination, and I learned right then and there about making Bucket Lists. Write down the places you want to see, then make time to go back later and visit them.
Lots of you seem to be heading toward Nashville for the holidays. Our Opry schedule is listed on the tour page, so I hope you choose to come when we’ll be on the show. Holiday shows at the Ryman are something special.
Travel safe, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.