WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8TH: HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAM!
Got a couple of hours sleep and then had breakfast with the guys. Answered some emails and then Kristy and I hit the trails. The weather is great and we ran down along the water. Then we went up into the woods on some trails. I went in there once before but got lost and never went back. She (unlike me) has a great sense of direction and we had a wonderful run. Ran for an hour so I now feel like a human being again. We stopped at a bank so I could get some money out to pay the guys their per diem. The promoter can’t come by until tomorrow and I wanted them to have their money. Also stopped and bought a fan. I think it cost about $90 U.S. but I didn’t care. It has been worth every cent of it. Came back and showered and answered some more mails. Then Kristy and I rode bikes into town. All the bikes have seats that are too high and can’t be adjusted so we were pretty comical trying to get started. We locked the bikes and walked into the center of town. Had a fantastic salad at a little restaurant right on the town square. Then we SHOPPED. But, it was already 4 pm and the shops close EXACTLY at 5:30 pm. Still we were able to buy several items and get a “fix” on some purchases for tomorrow. Our final purchase was ice cream. We went into a little shop and I knew exactly what I wanted – soft serve vanilla that is so light it disappears the minute your tongue touches it. It’s like eating a cloud. Kristy was trying to decide what she wanted when the man behind the counter said, “We are closed. You have to leave”. She thought he was kidding but he wasn’t. She was able to convince him to sell her the ice cream but he was not happy about it! It was the same way when we were in Copenhagen. A ladies shop lost out on over $400 in sales from me and my girlfriend because it was “closing time”. Very strange. Worked on email all evening and met with the promoter for the festival. She is so sweet and a real joy to work with. She’s happy with Connie and Bomshel and looking forward to the show. She told me about an animal park, an old steamboat that offers 1 hour cruises and an art gallery that might all be interesting for our group to visit while we have another day off. I have to get up early and go to the airport to meet Connie Smith and her guys. Hopefully everyone will be on time! Jude
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9TH:
Started out as such a good day! Had breakfast with Kristy then rode to the airport to pick up Connie Smith and her musicians. Connie has been in Norway visiting her son and the band flew in from Nashville. Both planes landed early and all the luggage and gear came in. Really nice. Got them checked into the hotel and rode the bike downtown to finish up my shopping. Got some great bargains. Came back to the hotel and had a marvelous one hour massage. Really having a good day and Kristy and I were going on a long bike ride. That’s when it all fell apart…. Had a little bike accident this evening. Was riding through town with Kristy From Bomshel. There is a sidewalk, then a bike path, and then the street. We were riding slow with me behind her when some guy tries to pass on my left. He didn’t ring the bell or let me know he was there. When he got beside me, he ran into me. I fell HARD on the pavement and he managed not to fall and kept going. Never even stopped to see if I was okay. Of course I didn’t have on a helmet because the hotel didn’t have any. Scared Kristy to death because there was blood everywhere. She was such a trooper though. Ran into a market and had them call the ambulance. A couple of really nice locals were helping me while we waited. Had to take an ambulance to the local hospital where I spent 4 hours. Big gash above my left eye which is swollen shut. Spilt my lip and had 3 stitches — 1 above the lip and 2 in the lip. He had to put the stitches in without numbing my lip. That was fun. Fractured and dislocated the ring finger of my left hand. Put it in a cast because I need surgery as soon as I get home to repair it. But first the doctor tried to numb it by putting the needle BETWEEN the bones on the back of my hand. I think that hurt as much as the stitches. Scrapes all over my face, legs, and arms. Didn’t give me any pain meds to take but the good news is….all health care in Denmark is free! Glad I go home on Saturday. Exciting, huh? I am typing with one finger on the left hand! Kristy was wonderful through it all. Only time she left the room was when she found out the doctor didn’t numb my lip before putting in the stitches. What got me through it was thinking of those wonderful men and women I meet in our military hospitals. I closed my eyes and pictured those brave Americans and reminded myself how very lucky I am to be alive and not be any more seriously injured than I was. Called my daughter to tell her I’m fine and she called me “momma”! She hasn’t called me that since she was 3 years old when I became “mom”! She was crying and I felt even worse for worrying her. All I can type for now. Please excuse the typos. Jude
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10TH:
Thanks to everyone for the sweet emails and phone calls. I am fine. Really. Have an appointment with a specialist in Nashville on Monday. Slept fine with no pain. Got up. Did what exercises I could manage under the circumstances. (no, I didn’t jog although I considered it! J) Learned how to take a shower and wash my hair with only one hand. Plastic bag over the cast with rubber bands to hold in place. Shampoo squeezed on the leg and then rubbed into the hair with my one good hand. Slow, but doable. Quick breakfast with Connie Smith then over to the venue for sound check with Bomshel. Everything was set up and waiting for us. Connie sound checked after Bomshel and then we came back to the hotel for a press conference. It was an artist’s nightmare because the person in charge just told their names and said okay, ask questions to the media in the room. Dead silence for what seemed like days. Connie finally spoke up and then they asked her questions. But no one was asking Bomshel anything so being the ultimate professional that she is, Connie threw it their way. Connie and Bomshel took control and it was a great vent after that. Got to change this next year. You would not believe how many albums these people bring in for Connie to sign. Of course, she has released 60 something. Talked the restaurant into making me bowl of soup since I can’t bite into a sandwich. Then answered email until time to go over for Bomshel’s show. Audience loved them The buyer said that the men in the front row had their eyes spinning around in their head. Bomshel signed autographs then Connie performed. She owned that audience. What a talent she is. I ate some pomme frites (French fries) for dinner since they are easy to bite into. Then Connie signed autographs and we returned to the hotel. Love working this festival because the buyer is so organized. I told her there was no additional charge for my ‘entertainment’ on the bike this year. So it is after 1 am and I have to get up in 4 hours to fly home. See, business as usual and I feel fine. Just “inconvenienced”! sorry so short. Hard to type with one hand and one finger on the left hand. Jude
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11TH: Slept my usual 4 hours and got up to go to the airport. Quick breakfast and delivered my fan to the hotel to keep until my next visit. The limo and van drivers showed up on time but forgot to hook the trailer on. They were trying to cram everything into the seats until I realized what was going on. Got that trailer hooked up in record time. Arrived at the little Billund Airport for check in. They started questioning me about my cast. She was not going to let me fly if it was hard all the way around because she said it would swell and there was nowhere for the swelling to go. I assured her that only half of it was hard. I was ready to cut it off with my manicure scissors if she hadn’t said I was good to go. Flight to Amsterdam was on time but we had to hurry to the gate as our connection time was short. Boarded aircraft only to find there was some sort of problem and we lost our “slot” to take off. After about 30 minutes, we taxied to the runway, only to have the flight attendant come on and say that we had to return to the gate so that a passenger could de-plane. I didn’t know if someone was ill or causing a disturbance. When the flight attendant walked by, he stopped and said, “I know you”. He was on my flight over where my seat was broken. I held up my cast and told him I would NEVER complain about a broken seat again. He said that apparently a passenger was having an anxiety attack and saying he couldn’t fly. When the passenger made a run for the door, they knew it was a serious problem. So, we taxied back to have him removed and fill out all the paperwork associated with this. I went back to talk to Bomshel’s manager about having the bus come to Memphis since the flight attendant didn’t think we could make our connection since we would be leaving 3 hours late. I saw the guy they were removing and was surprised by his appearance. He had blonde hair, thirty-something, white polo shirt and jean shorts. He was laughing and joking as they put him in the wheelchair. The flight attendant came over and said he thought I was a jinx because neither of the flights he had taken with me were on his regular schedule. We had to sit at the gate for a long time waiting for the brakes to cool. Finally took off and it was a fairly uneventful flight. Worked, ate, watched a movie and slept as much as I could. Found out this morning that one of my ribs right above my left breast is cracked. Also have two chipped teeth! I thought I had knocked out half my teeth, so guess I was lucky. The rib now hurts more than any of the other injuries. We landed in Memphis and I said good-bye to the flight attendant and warned him that if would be flying again in a couple of weeks if he wanted to try and avoid working that flight. He responded by saying, “Did you see this? It just fell and hit me in the head!” He was holding up a long silver piece of metal. Guess he will not want to be on any more flights with me. And he’s such a nice young man! J We landed with only 1 hour before our flight and knew that we had to go through immigration, pick up and re-check all the luggage, go through security and go to another gate if we were going to fly to Nashville. The Bomshel bus was there and they were taking it. Connie and I decided we could make it and ran for the gate. Kristy showed up a few minutes later and said she was flying too. Then she disappeared because their road manager called and said he couldn’t retrieve her luggage. When they exited Customs, instead of going out the exit for people staying in Memphis, they took everything to the connecting flight counters to be re-checked. I felt really bad about even suggesting that they have the bus come to Memphis since they probably could have made the flight. Flight to Nashville was short – it’s 101 here and all my grass is dead. My son and my daughter both met me at the airport. I had warned her about how bad I look and made her promise not to cry. She didn’t but she is still calling me ‘momma’ instead of ‘mom’ which shows me how concerned she is. My son just makes fun of me and calls me Evil Knievel! Good to be home after 6 weeks in Europe. Not looking forward to the surgery but ready to get it over with. Also ready to get my teeth fixed and my stitches removed. Mexico is next on the agenda! Sure is hard to type with one hand and one finger!!!