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Rod in action at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001.
Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.
A Thought for Today
Some men talk only when they are sure of
the crowd. The true believer is unafraid to address the mob
I’m back after eight weeks, tanned and ready, though admittedly having a
little trouble getting back up to speed. When I arrived home a new disc
was waiting from Jay so that I can include some rather rare or at least
not overly used poetry and prose on coming Flight Plans. Also waiting was
Melinda’s September birthday list, newly expanded from Wade Alexander’s
original compendium. So, if I’m not off and running at least I’m getting a
bit of a start.
Two months is a long time to be away from home. A Safe Place to Land is a
second home for me since for the last three years-plus I’ve been here
nearly every day. Not that I’ve been totally absent lately, I’ve dropped
in from time to time to check on things and I picked all of the columns
from Flight Plans past that Ken has provided you with during my absence.
There were a few notable exceptions to that rule; Ken and his team of
reporters kept you posted on the concert, balloon lift-offs, parades and
antique car activities in Riverton (with some great photos) and the
benefit in Santa Fe.
In addition to everything else Ken has done his usual top-flight job of
editing, formatting, posting and holding down the fort. He too was
supposed to be having some time off, but with the daily responsibility of
everything that goes into keeping A Safe Place to Land current (never mind
being a very active husband, father, breadwinner and all that that entails
. . . while changing residences in the bargain), I doubt he had much
breathing space let alone time off.
I’ve missed all of you while really enjoying the company of old friends
like Linda, Larry, Jay, Melinda, Rita, Kyletta, Jerry and – I never should
have started mentioning names since I’m bound (without checking my diary)
to leave out more names than I can ever mention. In days to come I hope to
make contrition’s for and explain away suspicions, superstitions and – to
continue with the alliteration – additions and omissions.
THINGS TO COME
During the next few weeks I’ll
be writing in depth about Riverton, Santa Fe, 4th of July in California’s
not so sleepy town of Redding, my motor trip through the Southwest and the
joy of tomato and onion sandwiches the last couple of weeks at home. And,
while I’ve talked about the once in a lifetime experience I had with Frank
Sinatra Jr. in Atlantic City, I’d like do something more in depth about
that last week in June that started my very eventful summer.
Then there’s the matter of the hoops I didn’t even know existed that the
(too energetic for prime-time) Ringmaster The Marques de Linda Becker put
me through in a 50 hour plus around the clock Wyoming wing ding. (Not that
I didn’t end up enjoying the whole Riverton experience immensely. I did
indeed, as you’ll find out.)
Linda writes, “I hope you are well rested after your marathon. Although I
am enjoying reading the archives on the Flight Plan, your current news is
missed. Are there plans for your July adventures to be written for Flight
Plans?” Yes, Linda, see above. You’ll get yours! Confidentially I must
like punishment because I’m still standing. “Well rested?” No comment.
Mail to Ask Rod certainly hasn’t slackened, so there are lots of questions
to answer and I’ll be offering new poetry and more “Love Letters Unsent” –
the first new one appears below. Thursday will soon become “Words About
Music” day. Once I get caught up on mail I plan to use it to write about
all the kinds of music that interests me. And as you know, there are few
kinds that do not.
Before the year is out I’ll be announcing some new concerts and
appearances and I wanted to again remind you that even this far in advance
The Actor’s Fund Benefit on November 10th is well on its way to being a
TAP YOUR TROUBLES AWAY
For those of you who haven’t
visited here recently here’s a quick recap of that event: It’s called “Tap
Your Troubles Away” and features the songs of Jerry Herman. The big reason
a sellout is assured is that the show will feature one of the most
formidable collections of Broadway, television and film stars ever to
perform together in one evening. Sure there are award shows with more star
power but the difference is that each one of these talented people will be
belting out and caressing the varied songs of Jerry Herman, one of the
most prolific (and still very much with us) Broadway writers.
The artists include Angela Lansbury, everybody’s favorite “Auntie Mame”
and Carol Channing who originated the role of Dolly Levi in “Hello Dolly.”
The cast also includes Lucie Arnaz, Mary Jo Catlett, Carole Cook, Wilson
Cruz, Tyne Daly, Nancy Dussault, David Engle, Jason Graae, Brian Lane
Green, Gene Herbin, Sam Harris, Marilu Henner, Kim Hoy, Dale Kristien,
Andrea Marcovicci, Donna McKechnie, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno,
Karen Morrow, Lee Roy Reams, Marcia Rudd, Douglas Sills, Jodi Stevens,
Leslie Ugams, Jo Anne Worley and Jerry Herman, himself.
And, there’s more. Those of you who have attended past David Galligan
Actor’s Fund and Aids benefits I’ve been involved in (and certainly many
who haven’t) need no introduction to the likes of Sharon Lawrence,
Charlotte Rae, Susan Johnson, Jane A. Johnson, Hugh Pennaro, Joely Fisher,
and Valerie Pettiford; I was on the bill with her again last month in
This time around I’ve been asked to sing one of Jerry’s most musical and
lyrically adept songs. Hint, over the years it has become a Barbra
Streisand showstopper, meaning I’ll have to reinvent it since I sing more
like margarine than ‘buttah’.
Again the resourceful and unflappable David Galligan is staging and
directing the affair and the musical direction and arrangements are being
handled by the more than able Ron Abel. Michael Kearns & Harry Prongue are
the producers. In the show biz vernacular, be there or be square. Ticket
info can be found on the Home Page under concerts and appearances.
The Sunday feature “Some of the Best” returns tomorrow. If you are
celebrating the last long summer holiday, celebrate safely and Happy
Potato Salad. Sleep warm.
RM 8/30/01 Previously
Details of Rod's next
appearance can be obtained by following the link below.
Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman