The People On the Bus…

Today is Wed Feb 18th.

I’m making a quick trip from Raleigh, NC to Jackson,MS and back in 5 days.

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(Btw-my Gtr case doubles as a suitcase.) I’ll go to a grand daughters Birthday Party (Fri 7pm-9), play at FJones Corner (midnite-4am), Play for a 90-ieth Birthday party (Sat 2-4 pm), play at Fenian’s Irish Pub (9pm-12), FJones Corner (Midnite-4am), maybe 11am Sunday mass, matinee at local theatre where Andrew is performing (2-5pm), go to IHOP (5-7)with 5 of my children, spouses, and grandchildren (children eat free!!) , sleep hard, get on bus Monday at noon and head back.
All that info was to justify what may seem like a short trip. I do this type thing a lot. Fact is, I prefer the bus to driving. The crazy part is doing it. In the music world traveling long distances to do a 45 min show at a major festival is nothing unusual. Or flying to Europe for 3 performances. I once knew a band that went on a 4 week tour and ran out of gas 20 miles from home. Unless a person is extremely diligent, it doesn’t make sense on paper. Yes, traveling is the crazy part. But loving to travel is crazier still. When you look at Shakespeare, Greek plays, Willie Nelson, Irish minstrels, traveling blues and country singers,… You name it. Traveling is a part of it.
While I love looking at the snow outside as we ride along, the freedom of daydreaming, hearing the engine hum, the sound of my “Gibson Flying V” through my Fender Blues DeVille amp, the sound Johnny O gets on his tenor Sax, getting to do the writing and reading I had planned, and making a buck or two for playing music, that’s only the half of it.
I think I speak for musicians and the entertainment world as a whole when I say “It’s people that make it worth it”
The feeling of knowing people like my music, the smile on Mr Rock’s face as he walks to the stage, the new people I’ll meet, the clerk at the bus station, the stories my grandchildren tell me, Bull getting in the van and us going to play again after 30 years, the smiles of the people, and the look I get from Jesse Robinson when only he and I heard that bad note I played in my solo.
Yes, People! And not the least are the “People on the Bus”. Going to & from MS and along the way. This entry is for them…

9:50 Wed nite the Bus is scheduled to leave. About 20-30 people sit at the station.

To my right was this couple in the PX.

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This girl was with her mother, father, and two brothers.

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I met a young 20 fellow that got kicked off for smelling like alcohol. About 20% are men who I assume are going to or from a job, about 20% with a lot of luggage like they’re relocating. A few are dressed like they are walking around campus, but the long distance travelers dress for comfort. One couple is headed to LA (And I don’t mean Louisianna!”) After all, sleeping is a lot of what you do.
This particular bus load has a lot of loud chatter. Usually the drive announces at the start “If I can hear you, you are too loud”. I have seen bus drivers pull over and invite people to get off. No matter, they’ll get quiet soon enough…

12:45 2/19
I think I have figured out why there was so much chatter last night on the bus. It was by far the loudest, highschoolish bus trip I’ve had. It seems there were three components.
1-There was a group of fellows who were riding together. Riding as a group. Maybe cousins or something. But the trouble had already started before they got on.
2-The driver didn’t speak good English. His words were not easy to understand, the weather was bad, and he didn’t exude confidence. This gave a substitute teacher affect. Even with that it would have been manageable but enter
3-A cute blonde traveling alone. Every man at the Raleigh Greyhound station saw her walk in. It turns out she was taking the bus that we were on. At Charlotte she had a cab waiting to take her to her next gig. You guessed it. She was a Stripper. When she sat near the back, it was ignited. Each one had to prove he was funnier than the other. The fellows appeared to be college age, but we all know how high schoolish college boys can be when they want to impress a woman.
In contrast, when we left Charlotte, we had a new bus driver. He spoke with a New York accent. It goes without being said that a New York bus driver welcomes confrontation. He was totally in his element. After he told us the rules, he noise was over. It didn’t hurt that the blonde hottie got off in Charlotte…

Meanwhile, I grabbed a bite in Birmingham.

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hat’s where I met these lovely ladies.

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Twins who grew up in Jackson, MS. Going back for a sister’s funeral. I did awkwardly avoid a gentleman in a wheel-chair. He was going in the restroom as I was walking out. I think this is his bus with the lifter.

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