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As I See It

July 1999 - Additions October 1999

Dear Friends,

Oh what interesting times we live in.

Life is good at salestromville- we are working and growing and playing all the time. James will be 11 in Sept. Casey turned 14 this past May and they along with their friend Leanne made a lot of smoke and sparkle and noise last night in front of our house as we are coming up on the 4th of July 1999. I can't believe it but time is flying faster now than I ever thought when I sat in algebra class in Kearney Nebraska in the eighth grade.

December of 1998 was really great for James as Vincent Bartholomew Salestrom was adopted into his and our lives. (James came up with this name so he could scold him in a proper manner when he's bad which is just about all the time). He's a frisky laso/schnauser-schnoodle dog. He's really funny and poor Daisey hasn't really learned to put up with his puppy ways yet. But they co-exist and Schatze the cat couldn't be bothered with either of them.

Pam and I went to Ireland in January for a week at the RDS Travel World Show. We had a blast again with Frank Strang - Jackie and Alan Dunphy and the Burlington Hotel. We also met the new ambassador Mike Sullivan from Wyoming - great guy and a real cowboy hat to match. What an amazing trip in the middle of the winter.

In February, I spent four days in Maui on a site tour with Gerry Manser. He's a good friend - smart as a whip - travel coordinator who I've known forever and we share the same birthday.

I got back home to head for Cabo San Lucas with Pam for my birthday. What a beautiful place to ride pirate ships - see whales - and get a sunburn. Trust me...sunburns are very important in the winter. Forget the sunscreen!

I had been playing music in Breckenridge at the Cattle Company but they decided to go a new route with a new manager and so I moved down to the Village Pub. It's hard to let go of such a good place and harder still with all the memories that accumulated there over the years. I also played Thursdays at the Wellington Inn on Main Street in Breck - what a difference - incredible management and happy folks all having a good time like the old days. I hope to play there again next year on Fridays.

This retrospective is a little bit harder than normal as my calendar went on holiday by itself about 10 days ago in California and I can't reconstruct my life as easily as normal. I do know that I didn't get to ski enough.

John Sommers and I played at a fancy cabin up from Snowmass for a SKI USA party. I LOVE those guys and John is a wonderful person and player. I also got to play for the World Cup press schmooze party at Allie's Cabin in Beaver Creek. Really cool time and place.

March 17th comes to mind - a wine tasting party followed by singing in a restaurant for stockbrokers. An incredible dinner and some songs for two very special friends, Stu and Florianne at Plump Jack - wow what a restaurant - it should be nice though as Gordon Getty is somewhere in the picture. These people are so much in love and they shared that with all of us. What an honor to be invited!

A trip to sing for my friend Peter's daughter's surprise birthday party was really a highlight of my year. The party was held in this beautiful nature museum/hospital. They help abandoned animals and those hurt by cars. There are eagles and hawks and even a mountain lion. Peter totally surprised his daughter and I got to play the song Peter and I wrote, "With Love To Mommy". It's a very cute little number and I know you'll like it too. Peter and Nancy have been an incredible influence and inspiration to my life. Their love for their world and each other is an example I wish to pass on to my family. They are in touch with their deepest feelings about their families, their friends and each other. I could go on and on...and do sometimes.

They brought me back to play for a wonderful evening in Pebble Beach. This coincided with a big show that I was the Sire for at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco in April. My Dad, who had his 80th birthday in March, and my little brother Tommy came out from Nebraska to help me emotionally and to celebrate being guys. We stayed at the City Club where people like Marv Foster made my Dad Virg feel like a king. We traveled down to Pebble and stopped off in Monterey for lunch and to see where John Denver stepped off...it was a beautiful day and the Inn at Spanish Bay is outrageous - we laughed when the nice lady showed us to our room and turned the fireplace on. When I got home that evening, Dad was whistling in his sleep - Tommy was snoring - and the TV was blaring. Dad said he woke up in the middle of the night and thought he was in a battle zone. He pinched my toe, then Tom's and we slept the good sleep of being with our Dad. The show the next night was special as I flew three guys in from Denver to play with me. Don Garberg, Steve Ivey and Chris Engleman did a fantastic job and got to see what Bohemia is like - they were invited back. My show came off without any hitches and was really a success. Those people empower entertainers with so much love, there's no way you could fail! There were and still are many trips to California.

Pam and I traveled back out to California and tied up with Aunt Sis. She is from Seattle and we took her to lunch (she picked up the check, bless her heart) where we met Mayor Willie Brown. Then off to the show 1776. Then a birthday party. I was so tired and partied out at 2:00. Aunt Sis has more stamina than any of us. And she's just a bit older too. She took us to brunch at the Top of the Mark, then said goodbye as we headed to L.A. and eventually Maui again with the band and their wives to perform for Prudential UK.

We had a blast at Grand Wailea Hotel. An Esspresso band and mine played for gala evening for the Prudential UK's incentive. This was the third and probably final year out of three to get to do that. Singapore-Bali and the cruises through the Caribbean. What wonderful people and lifetime memories. I made some lifetime friends with Nicky and Sandi Pearson and look forward to seeing then this fall in Birmingham.

If you're keeping track, you might notice that we haven't been home too much. Marcia Jahn has watched the children (spoiled James is more like it - Ha) and we are so grateful to her for keeping them happy and healthy so we could go. She and Barbara Heckendorn are a Godsend and put the web page together for the Timberline re-issue album from my past. I still have a lot of those CDs and tapes if you're interested. They are good friends and I was glad we had some evenings in Breck this past winter.

There were more trips to California in May and a big trip down to Buenos Aires, Argentina, again with Bob Stenchcomb from Vail. I tell ya...he is one of the gems in the world. He works so hard...speaks Spanish...and travels his tail off to convince folks Vail Resorts have the best skiing in the world. I truly admire him as a person and a friend. He's extremely funny too. All these young folks travel around the world together and support each other - at the same time in competition with each other. It's so cool to get to play in Argentina and I may get to go again.

My little brother Tom and his wife Jo and their 3 year old son Ben welcomed a new baby boy in June. Jack Thomas Hansen Salestrom is a blessing to our families and very special. We have all been transformed already by this little bundle and we can't wait to get him on the slopes. So much love and support have come their way and it's great to know Tom and Jo have this amazing experience in store for them.

In the middle of all this, we sold a place in Breckenridge and purchased 1/2 a duplex near Lake Dillon. It's such an exciting time for me as I have the title of Entertainment Coordinator for Keystone Resorts. It entails a slide show for winter and summer, playing at an orientation each Sunday night for an hour (I'm really trying to make them all), performing by the lake and producing some big shows and generally helping them explore some new avenues to promote the resort. It is so cool to get to do this and I'm pouring my heart and soul into it. I'm working with Liz and Biz and Pete and Margie and of course Katy and Heidi at River Run. It's a job that I've sorta been doing for them in the past, but now with my own business cards...watch out!!! I am really excited and want to invite each and everyone of you to come ski/golf/stay at Keystone. I've always played music there...I'm just going to be doing it there a little bit more.

Probably one of the biggest shows I have ever done just happened in St. Louis at the Sheldon Theater. My Friend Dave and his sweet wife Nancy put a party together to highlight my singing and introduce St. Louis to the John Denver Tribute music I've been doing. The band rocked. Tom Rutledge and Richard Dennison surprised me by driving up from Nashville. What a great surprise and Frank Strang came in from Scotland. It was an amazing night and 500 of Dave and Nancy's friends were there to share it. The kids had a blast in their new pool in their new home and everyone will always remember this special evening.

My brother Chuck played bass and he and Kristi made a weekend of it. Jim Horn and Pete Huntlinger did an incredible job as well as Bill Danoff from D.C. It was neat cause I got to share the experience with my old friend Kris O'Connor and new friend/singer Mollie Weaver plus Steve and Don. What a lineup...what a night...I will never forget how cool it was and I will always be grateful to David for making it happen.

There are Teddy Bear concerts in Leadville and Breck and I'm looking forward to doing two nights at the Riverwalk Center to raise some money for Summit Ski Club and B.O.E.C. skier challenged program on August 18-19. There's a show at the Arvada Center on August 27th and shows in Washington D.C., Aspen and L.A. this fall. I hope to see you there.


October 3, 1999

I am just back from Washington D.C. where I played with some of John’s band and a lot of his friends. It was an incredible evening at George Mason University. Jim Connor performed his hit "Grandma’s Featherbed", it was amazing to see him do his own song and what a delightful guy. Plus, my old friend Denny Brooks was the M.C. and did a wonderful job singing and introducing. Mollie Weaver sang "In The Grand Way" and really moved John Sommers who wrote the song. Kris O’Connor is still the best production manager in the biz and along with the show producer Kenn Roberts and singer Mac Bailey both from the Hard Travelers, plus Bill Danoff who co-wrote "Country Roads" (ASCAP chose "Take Me Home Country Roads" as one of the 10 best country songs of the century) we really had a good show. I had a wonderful time on the way back with John Sommers - he is the nicest person and what a talented friend.

With trips to Germany and the U.K. this fall - (I traveled to Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich and Hamburg last month with Leigh Pezicara and Kristin Yantas - two lovely ladies that I totally admire and had a blast with---along with Angelika and Birgit---what a wonderful trip that was)... and the shows at Keystone including New Years Eve, I am a busy boy...and Grateful!

Lots of Love to you and yours,

Thanks for listening!