Friday, February 17, 2012

The Sailors Godmother
I really wanted to publish this blog upside down in honor of my return from Australia. The idea was not good enough to justify the time spent trying to figure out how to accomplish it. Besides, I would still have to write something to publish upside down and I do not have the energy to accomplish both.
The information is not as important as the process today. After 24 hours of travel I am trying to do anything that will keep me awake in this time zone. I do not want to spend several days with a reversed body clock.  So here goes a stream of semi-consciousness.
In seafaring tradition every ship has a godmother. The godmother of the Crystal Serenity is Julie Andrews. A beautiful portrait of her hangs in the main lobby outside the dining room. This fact brings me to a great memory. 
There are some things you never forget in your life. For me one of those moments was my 40th birthday party in Columbus, Ohio.  As shocked as some of you may be by the fact that I am older than 40, that is not the story.  The story is about the party. A select group of musicians and singers celebrated my birthday in the suite of a hotel downtown Columbus, adjacent to the Ohio Theatre. I was on the road and not able to be with my family. So my road family filled in.  With Bob Florence playing a beautiful white grand piano the hostess sang a song for me. It wasn't the traditional "Happy Birthday" song it was "Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious".  She did it exactly like Mary Poppins because it was Julie Andrews singing it. She sang the song for me because in one of my early acts with SQUEAKY I performed a back and forth routine to "Supercal...". 
At the time of my 40th birthday I was the opening act for "Julie Andrews in Concert" playing the beautiful theatre next door.  Julie traveled with her conductor Ian Frazier, her accompianist/arranger Bob Florence, Bass player Tom Warrington, trumpet player Larry Ford and drummer Sol Guben.  There were also wardrobe girls, road managers, hairdressers, sound men and "me" the opening act. Sometimes even  Blake Edwards would be around. It was an extremely talented group of people and I was fortunate enough to be able to hang around them for two 8 week tours.  
Sol Guben, for example, was the drummer on the theme song to the "Dick Van Dyke Show". His drumming is a stand out and memorable part of that song. It happens that Sol and I share the same birthdate.  So, Julie gave us a party in her suite. It became a jam session for some guys who are consumate musicians who loved to play together.  It was perfect. At at time when I was beginning to feel older, Mary Poppins herself made me feel like a kid again.
This is a picture from that tour. I think this was Minneapolis not Columbus. I am the grinning fool to Julie's right.
So every time Sandi and I went to dinner on the Crystal Serenity I would pass by Julie's picture and mentally blow her a kiss. There are memories and associations that stay with you, even on the Tasmainian Sea.
As you were,

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