Cozmic Carl Joins The Adventure-11th segment

The show that stood out on the mini Willie tour was the show in San Antonio, at the municipal auditorium, with Dolly Parton opening. The afternoon of the show, Dolly came in to do a sound check, as she was walking across the stage to the microphone,  center stage, she would introduce herself to members of the crew as she approached them. She was being polite and wanted everyone to be comfortable, but I think everyone knew who she was.

I was standing at the monitor board, stage left, enjoying the opportunity to see her in person at such a close distance. After the sound check, she thanked everyone for making her feel so comfortable.

She turned and started walking toward me. I was thinking, oh my, she’s coming over here. I must say, at the time I was a recovering shy person and was a little nervous. Sure enough, she walked up to me, stuck out her hand and said, I believe that I have met everyone but you. I surprised myself, I remembered my name, introduced myself, shook her hand and gave her a light hug, thanked her for coming over and she headed off to the dressing room.

We finished up the few shows, all in Texas, and headed back to Houston to prep for another tour with Pure Prairie League.

The dates for the tour were out west, and the first show was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Cozmic was riding with me to help drive the truck, as I had been teaching him how to drive and handle a big rig, and the long drive would give him an opportunity to gain more experience.

We were in Colorado and exited I-25 at Fort Collins and on to highway 287 that would take us into Wyoming. At one point the highway ran alongside  a small river as we entered the edge of Roosevelt National Forest. Cozmic noticed over to our left was a Bald Eagle that was keeping pace with us and as we gained altitude, the eagle stayed right with us.

Daylight had come about an hour earlier and the morning was bright, the air cool and fresh. Seeing the eagle was a great way to start the day, and we both agreed it was a sign of good luck. Eventually the highway turned away from the river and the eagle, but the excitement stayed with us.

Approaching the top of the mountain, we picked up a skip on the C. B. radio that was in Spanish. A skip is when the receiver picks up a signal that originates from a location that is way out of the radios range. Neither one of us knew much Spanish, yet we did recognize the words Key West, Florida. We were both surprised that we could pick up a transmission from Key West. Cozmic wondered out loud something about Jimmy Buffett, as Key West and Jimmy Buffett are synonymous with each other and it’s hard to think of one without the other.

The temperature in Jackson Hole was pretty cold when we arrived, and it seemed like every cricket in Jackson Hole was wintering in the auditorium, They were everywhere. I had never seen anythang like it. A crew of college students had a big time gathering them up and were eventually successful

As the day wore on the temperature kept dropping and by the time the show was over it was in the low teens. We finished loading about 1:30 or 2:00 am, and the temperature had dropped to single didgets. I got into the truck and started to drive away, and I noticed that the truck had no power. I made it down the hill into town, and the truck just would not go.

I pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the crew bus to catch up. The bus stopped to see what was going on, and as I explained to the bus driver that the truck had no power, he asked if I had put any anti-gel into the fuel tanks. I said no and he said that the cold temperature was causing the fuel to gel in the fuel lines. Sure enough, while we were talking the engine stopped running.

I contacted a mobile mechanic, and he said it would be after 7:00 am before he could show up, as he was on another call. The next show was Salt Lake City, about 250 miles away, a good six hours drive on a good day, but it was mountainous, cold , and snowy, so it would probably take longer.

The load-in was to be at 8:00 am. If the mechanic does get here by 7:30, take an hour and a half to blow out the fuel lines, reconnect the lines, put a good load of anti-gel in the fuel tanks and reprime the fuel pump, I will most likely arrive in Salt Lake City between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. That was not good, as this was all on me.

The mechanic arrived at 7:15 and had another mechanic with him that I had not expected to see. The two of them got the job done and I was rolling by 9:00 am.

The crew was at the venue by 9:00 am, so I called them to let’em know that I was up and running so they could make the adjustments with the stagehands.

I pulled in about 3:30, the show came off on time, and I had learned all I needed to know about cold weather and the anti-gel fuel additive.

There were a few more shows out west and the tour ended. When we finished loading the truck after the last show, Howard came over to brief us on the work ahead. He said we were going to do the southern and western leg of the Jimmy Buffett, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, (Margaritaville) tour.

Cozmic and I looked at each other, flashing back to seeing the Eagle, and picking up the skip from Key West, did the high five, and told Howard of our experience.

The three of us agreed that the synchronicity had cozmic overtones, (pun intended), that gave us all goosebumps, left us excited, and looking forward to going to Florida.

We returned to Houston, set up the light system for the Buffett tour,  Coz and I headed to Austin for a few days off before starting back up.


3 thoughts on “Cozmic Carl Joins The Adventure-11th segment

  1. Carl Steel. Last time I saw Carl he was winning a fist fight with one of the Templeton twins. He had no idea how athletic Carl was but had the bruises to prove it. I hated those days of fighting old friends because you had long hair. Anyway, I finished the stories and ready for more. Did you know Todd Potter’s dad was Jimmy Doolittle’s navigator on the famous Tokyo Run. Remember when we were all gathered around during the Cuban Missile crisis because James had just enlisted. Your Mom was beside herself. I remember your Mom’s face like it was yesterday. Your grandmother’s too! I just can’t remember what I ate for breakfast anymore. LOL. How in the Hell did I miss the fact that you’ve a sister? We grew up together and somehow I missed that! When you mentioned football I remembered “Big Daddy”! Damn, you were stout for a kid. We attended different high schools and went our own ways from there. It is good to hear and read your words, again. BTW, my Mom always loved you to death. She thought you were the cutest kid around when you would mash your nose against the screen door and say “Mrs. Williams, may I have a glass of water?” She told that story a hundred times Mike. Kent

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