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As I See It

December 2003

It’s been a wonderful year - filled with lots of hope and promise and work. Plus a lot of fun too!

I started in January performing at the opening of the new Bachelor Gulch Ritz Carlton - a wonderful new place in the Vail crown. I then traveled down to Flagstaff for some meetings about the new album Music From The Grand Canyon. I met with Kim, Deborah and Fran, and a couple of the Grand Canyon Foundation board members. I received their blessing for the album in return for raising awareness and donations, and because the National Park Service produced the CD-ROM Virtual Tour Of The Grand Canyon that is included in the album, they have endorsed it to.

February brought the Ski For DeSo weekend again in honor of Justin DeSorrento in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I did my annual Breckenridge performances for the kids at both Upper Blue and the Breckenridge Elementary Schools where our kids attended. This coincides with the Ullr Fest Winter Carnival.

Pam, James, Casey – Casey’s friend Emily - our dear friend Marcia - and I all headed down to Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas for 10 days. Wow! What a cool experience with the kids fishing and snorkeling and we all had so much fun with Lincoln Jones and our wonderful hosts Molly and Bill Baker. They gave the kids a house and golf cart and they were in Caribbean heaven. I played a concert there and raised money for the disabled school program they have on the islands. And to know Bill and Molly is to know just about everyone on the island. We had the time of our lives, the weather couldn't have been nicer and the views stunning.

I played at the Pacific Union Club in San Francisco for Judge Lois Haight Herrington. She had a birthday and a special award presented to her, and because we such good friends, I wrote her a song. Pam and I went to the Bohemian Club on Friday night and heard some lovely classical music but nothing could compare with Pam meeting Walter Cronkite and him flirting...(just a bit) with her. That Saturday found me playing at the Colgin Winery in Napa and then joining friends for dinner at a trendy spot in St. Helena - wow what a life some folks live and I guess by saying that, we’re living it too (on the fringe).

I didn’t get to ski much last winter and that’s gonna change this coming winter by golly, but I did get to ski with Bernie Weichsel who is a legend in the skiing industry and of course a couple of runs with another legend, Bob Craig in Keystone and the Reads in Vail.

I had a wonderful time in California in July performing one evening with the Kingston Trio, who have become good friends. And every year I’m on the same show with Art Linkletter who is a real legend and a very nice man. One of the highlights of my life was meeting Dave Grusin. He is an Academy Award winning composer for The Milagro Beanfield Wars, and has been writing music for the movies since the 60’s, including The Graduate and The Electric Horseman, and also is one of our country’s best jazz artists. He started his own jazz record label that is still famous to this day called GRP. Dave wrote “It Might Be You” for the movie Tootsie and he was gracious enough to let me sing it with him for an audience of 2000. I was in Heaven. I will always treasure that memory!

Pam and I traveled to France and the Perigord region, in September, on a special tour that included hot air balloon rides and visits to Font de Gaume, which has 40,000 year old cave paintings. What an amazing trip and we loved the food, the folks, and the sights! We are going with the same organizers to Italy in April 2004 for the same sort of tour. I get to play a bit but not too much!

In November I took a little trip to Cancun - I was there having the time of my life. James and Pam came down and we were to spend another five days together - well - I got sicker than a dog and there was nothing I could take to help it. While we were there, we also got a phone call about our sister-in-law, Mary Kay. She had passed away after a very courageous battle with cancer. I put Pam and Casey on the plane to go back to West Virginia and then I headed for the emergency room - dehydrated but it started me on the right path back the health - it has taken me more than three weeks to really start to feel better.

After Thanksgiving, Pam and I traveled to Vancouver B.C. for me to play for a company Christmas party. I’ve been doing this now for four years and the folks up there are so incredibly nice. Then I traveled back to my home state of Nebraska to do some holiday shows in Omaha and Kearney. It was great seeing my parents once again (they had come to Colorado for Thanksgiving) and as always the trip really gets me in the spirit of Christmas.

Pam, James and I will travel to Scottsdale at the end of the month and I’ll perform for a New Year's Eve Party with a lot of the John Denver guys.

I still have my job with Vail Resorts and Keystone and this winter I'll be playing at the Inn at Keystone on Thursday nights and the Keystone Lodge on Friday nights, and by the Lake in the summer. I am grateful to them!

I have two new albums out called Music From The Mountains and Music From The Grand Canyon. They are both being distributed by Four Winds Trading Company and sold in both the Grand Canyon National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park gift shops as well as the internet.

I’ve started to play more at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and I am so loving that and it looks like 2004 will see me there on a more regular basis. I’ve got a great band to play with me and a great sound and light engineer. It makes life so much easier especially when there are more of us.

My family is doing great and the kids are growing up fast. Casey is a freshman at CU-Boulder and is leaning towards journalism, with two journalism classes next semester along with other core classes. She is also a volunteer working with students that need a comforting ear on a crisis hotline. James is a freshman at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada. He's closing in on 6 feet and is really into tennis and playing the piano and guitar. He wants to be an author. Pam had knee surgery this month and is absorbed with physical therapy, but she’s a real trooper and will be better than ever soon!

We are blessed for our family and friends! Pam and I keep holding on to a wonderful life and each other! I am so glad to be here!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and the very best to you and your family!

Jim

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