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As I See It

September 1998

Dear Friends,

It seems strange to be remembering this past year so soon. It seems like this is always the time of year that I can take a breath and reflect. It has been awesome. Lots of travel and new folks in my life plus a new album. Where to start?

I guess with the travel. Although I played almost every weekend this winter at the Cattle Company in Breckenridge Colo, I managed to take Pam and perform in Ireland at the Holiday Travel Show-Dublin Convention Center in January. We flew United Airlines to London then Aer Lingus to Dublin. We stayed at the Burlington Hotel and I played for 5 days and 50,000 people in the USA Pavilion. We met Ambassador Jean Kennedy-Smith and had a grand time touring around a bit - Trinity College, The Book of Kells, St. Stevens Green - and Pam ventured outside the city to see more of the green. We had a couple of late nights including one at the McCool's singing, laughing and listening with the Dumphrys-the Bradys- and Frank Strang who seems to make an awful lot happen in my life these days. What a great Saturday night. Sunday night was a test of fortitude for us knowing we had to leave the next morning for Denver at 6:00 am and also wanting to watch the Denver Broncos win(?) the Super Bowl. It started at 11:30 that evening and we fell asleep during halftime to wake up third quarter and actually witness it happen. The kids called from a huge Broncos party to scream and yell at 3:30 am.

What a neat way to start our trip home.

Pam and I flew to Ft. Lauderdale next the first week of February for an inspection cruise of the Veendam-Holland America Line - and a rocky trip thru the Caribbean for the Prudential Insurance Company of the UK. We met our friends Tony, Nicky, Alan and Richard and suffered through some pretty rough seas and too much food. The second trip in April was smooth sailing and a lot of work for me, as the coordinator of 17 people and about 5 nights of shows plus all the meetings I attended. Everyone had a pretty good time. I'm grateful to have been chosen and will gladly go again...life is such a learning experience, though, and I'm still learning as much as I can.

February brought birthday number 42 for me on the 20th...it's great to be here (but I'm old).

April also gave us a beautiful experience in Napa where I played for Clan Read. Pam and I both experienced the wine country and some of the most incredible estates there. Through friends and camp mates, Pam and I were truly wined and dined including an amazing private dinner at Far Niente...if you ever taste the Dolce you will never forget it.

We spent a Sunday in the Grove--300 foot Redwoods and a special luncheon to initiate Pam to some very loving and new relationships that have grown for me over the past few years.

A special song "Home" was written during this trip and can be heard on the new Colorado Crossroads album.

The month of May brought Casey's 13th birthday and another trip to California for the kids, Pam and me to Monterey. We had an amazing tour of the City of Lights, San Francisco, from our good friend Tom Ginella-owner of Capp's Corner and New Pisa...2 of the city's best restaurants.

Monterey was so beautiful and trying to find the "stepping off point" for JD was sad and emotional. As if by plan I met one of the divers who dove on the wreck and also managed to find the Irish Pub Kris O'Connor told me to look into. The sunsets and more Clan Read experiences made this trip a total dream. A little sunshine at the Pebble Beach Club thanks to the Durney's was just what the doctor ordered.

Three days later I was on American Airlines (listening to my rewrite of Tools on the in-flight) to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a week of playing at Todo Esqui ski show. Pam was invited but since we'd both been away so much of the year, she did the honorable thing and stayed home.

It rained this time, but wow what an amazing place where the people are so handsome, don't eat dinner until at least 11:00 and dance at discos like the Buenos Aires News until 7:00 am (I made it to 5:00 am one night.) Bob Stenchcomb is a real good person to travel with - he speaks the lingo - and is a super nice human. {Shut Up} Also folks from Aspen like Maria and Julie and Kathryn from Heavenly made the experience all worthwhile.

I flew home and the next day I took my dad, Virg, to California to camp in the Redwoods for 3 days. It poured like no one has ever seen and we all got wet, but we spent a lot of quality time and heard some fabulous music. Dad will celebrate his 80th next March and is going strong.

This is where it gets a little bit confusing...if you've been following a calendar, now it starts to get to be a little ridiculous...but all the travel has paid off and I'm grateful my family still lets me sleep here.

OK... So we get back from San Francisco on May 31st, drive to Kearney Nebraska to celebrate Mom's birthday on June 2nd, play a benefit for the Kearney YMCA on June 3rd, a retirement home on June 4th and drive back to Denver to rehearse with a very talented young lady, Mollie Weaver, and my band on June 5th. I got a phone call at 5:00 informing me that I was to be in Ft. Collins for a regional Methodist conference by 7:30...not the following evening... so I flew and loved it after I got there. Roger Markel got married the next morning at the Catholic Church in Breckenridge. I travel with Roger sometimes for the ski areas and he is a great guy/good drummer. I know he and Maria are very happy. Their reception was wonderful at the Ranch at Keystone. Sunday night was the Mollie Weaver concert in Littleton. It was sold out with most of her friends and family. They are lovely people and our mutual friend Kris O'Connor was the stage manager. It was emotional singing John Denver's songs with so many of his friends there.

Monday, I left for Glasgow Scotland and a wonderful visit to play for the Strath Spey Leisure and Recreational Trust. We are raising money to secure a loan to build a rec center there with a series of concerts in January. Frank Strang is the ramrod behind all this good will and helped us find a home to live in this fall...but I'm getting ahead of myself. I finally was able to see the Highlands and play some golf (in the rain) but fun nonetheless. I played at the Abernethy Primary School and Carrbridge Primary School. Chris Barling (the voice of the London Daily Mail Ski Show and a very good presenter on the radio in Inverness) did the sound and printed up T-Shirts. The Bridge to Bridge Tour was very successful and I look forward to taking the whole family there...kids will go to school...and all the end of Sept. for 6 weeks. It will be a marvelous experience.

I flew home the following Sat. I was home for 4 days and left for Vancouver B.C. for 5 days of meetings and recordings. I really love that city and my friends up there are amazingly talented and extremely nice.

I finished out the month playing in Keystone and Aspen performing with my old friend John Sommers. He is a good egg and we've managed to get ourselves booked in London this fall.

July was just a ton of work and 3 weekends at the Grove in Northern California. Always an incredible experience with my Five Easy Pieces camp mates. Boy is that fun!

August I flew to Australia with Vail Resorts/SKI USA and sang at Threadbow - did a bit of skiing in the rain and spent about 4 days in Sydney. What a beautiful city to get to see again. Last time was '87 with Dolly Parton. Great folks and great trip. Thanks to Roger Markel and Mariah Smith.

I came home to promote the 2nd Annual Bluegrass and Brewfest at Keystone's Village at River Run. Heidi and Katie and Mary are wonderful to work with and Richie Owens and The Farm Bureau pulled it off in grand form. I also produced a Timberline/John Denver Reunion-Tribute Concert at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. It sold out and was a huge success so we added a show the following Thursday and it almost sold out too. We raised about $1,300.00 for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (they help challenged folks ski) and the music was so good to hear again. With help from John Sommers-Mollie Weaver-Hereford Percy-Mary Huckins and the rest...it was something to do again.

And I get to again soon...

I'm flying back from the UK to perform with John Denver's band for a celebration of his life on the anniversary weekend of his passing, October 10-11. They may add another show at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen but for now, it's sold out. I fly out that Monday for shows in Hamburg-Munich-Berlin then fly to Birmingham, England, for three days of ski shows. Then Pam and the kids and I will travel to Dublin-Belfast-Glasgow-Edinburgh and then I'll head for the London Daily Mail Ski Show for 11 days with John Sommers and the Wheezetones from Nebraska...a really great trio and wonderful bunch to travel with. They were on the cruise for the Pru earlier this year.

My new album, Colorado Crossroads, has just been released. It's an audio calendar for Vail Resorts and I'm very happy with the way it sounds. You can order through this web site or just come and see me sometime. I've had an amazing year with studio time spent recently with Noel Stookey, Richie Furay, Rick Roberts, Dick Wiseman, Don Garberg, Jim Mason, and Dugg Duggan.

I'm looking forward to playing some Christmas shows in Nebraska and also doing some big shows at country clubs in the area with Mollie Weaver and Mary Huckins.

Barbara Heckendorn and Marcia Jahn continue to help me through this life and cyber space. Pam enjoyed a big birthday with a surprise party here at the house last Sat and now she's in West Virginia for a week then Florida to see her Mom. We are blessed with good health - good friends - our family - Colorful Colorado - and you for taking the time to read this.

I hope your journey is similar to ours. I hope you have someone to hold and laugh with along the way. Enjoy my favorite time of the year - autumn - and come see us soon!

Thanks for listening!

Love,

Jim