Postings from Pretoria #28
03 March 2010
Hello there... Rodger French here.
Two months between Postings seems a tad long, although I’m undoubtful that loyal readers have found productive ways to while away the weeks whilst waiting for updates. I do, in fact, have excellent excuses, having spent five weeks on the road in the U.S., followed by one day in Pretoria to recover from jetlag and repack for nine days in Kaapstad (Cape Town) and the West Coast of South Africa. Which is where I am today, living fairly largely at the Table Bay Hotel on the Victoria & Alfred (V & A) Waterfront in Cape Town (Kaapstad), where it is quite hot and very windy.
The trip Stateside came off remarkably well, thanks largely to family, friends, and fellow musicians. The flight over took 16.5 hours, transited seven time zones (and five movies), and whisked me from pleasant summer to dreary winter. I subsequently flew, in short order, to Louisville, KY and Los Angeles, CA, resulting in an internal clock so messed up that I decided to become my own time zone. This proved to be a logistically salutary delusion, considering how miserable domestic air travel in the U.S. has, IMHO, become.
Extortive Delta baggage fees, “kabuki” security screenings, and lousy airline seats aside, I had a wonderful visit to the homeland. Some highlights:
Stone Mountain, GA – Got to pal around with LaBanana, who is in the midst of her own international travels.
Louisville, KY – Spent time with my Mom and both my brothers. Doesn’t happen often.
Los Angeles, CA – Played a concert with Cowboy Envy for 1,400 people and had the best mole poblano ever in a little joint on the Redondo Beach Pier. Also took in the Museum of the American West at the Autry National Center (On display: The Lone Ranger’s outfit! And Tonto’s, too!), visited with chums from the ATL, and enjoyed ridiculously good Chinese take-out and poker with the cowgirls.
Tucker, GA – The “Main Squeeze Deux” Album Release Concert came off very well indeed. Collaborated with my peeps, visited with people whom I really like, and even sold some CDs. (Not to worry: I have plenty left. In fact, if you haven’t already bought one, you should. Ask me how.)
Pine Lake, GA – Picked up an impromptu gig with Joyce Brookshire, Elise Witt, and others. Good folks and real country music.
Atlanta, GA – The 32nd Annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival. ‘Nuff said.
Clarkesville, GA – Super Bowl party featuring an orange menu (pizza, wings, Cheez-Its, and crunchy Cheetos) and a great victory by the New Orleans Saints. Nothing against Peyton Manning, but the Saints, and their city, were f#@king due.
Daphne, AL – Played accordion for the old folks, including Anne’s Mom, at Mercy Medical. I’ve played at dozens of senior centers, retirement homes, and medical care facilities in my checkered career, and it’s always a bit tough. And always worthwhile.
New Orleans, LA – Hooked up with las grandes amigas for Mardi Gras 2010. A Classic. Huge crowds of revelers who had been partying since the Super Bowl, picturesque parades with lotz of loot, and exceptional food, drink, and music. I’d like to live there some day, albeit keeping in mind some cautionary words from a very wise man: “New Orleans will not save you from yourself.”
Pensacola, FL – Shacked up on the 15th floor of a high rise overlooking Pensacola Beach (the best beach in America) and joined in the festivities surrounding the nuptials of A.J.’s remaining eligible unmarried niece. Family fun with a nice bunch of relatives.
So… sorry if I missed you on this go-round, but we’re back in South Africa until September, when we ship out for the District of Columbia. I fully realize how fortunate I am to have these travel opportunities and intend to make the most of them. And, rest assured, I will continue to periodically inflict these modest travelogues on all of you. Thanks for your indulgence and comments.