The 10th Anniversary of the Harp Guitar Gathering…could it really be possible?
Apparently, yes. And after months of planning, I was still not prepared for all that would (or could) potentially occur.
Here we go with a countdown to last weekend’s historic event (patience…photos just starting to come in…lots of pics to come).
As in previous years, Jaci and I, plus Frank, Bennetts and Morgans would get in a couple days ahead to begin Ground Operations. Unfortunately, we were this year at the last minute whim of Hurricane Sandy, which didn’t affect Texas, but would delay Stephen and Nancy by two days. In fact, they said that just one additional inch of water level (Nancy runs the family’s marina in Milford) and they wouldn’t have made it at all (I know…it would have been disastrous in more ways than one, as you will see in the blogs to come). But with their flight safely re-booked for Friday AM, we could breathe a huge sigh of relief as we left home Wednesday (Halloween) morning at crack of dawn.
I had a notebook full of Powerpoint printouts on the plane, which I planned to finish notating for my three special Anniversary presentations. After 5 minutes of staring blurry-eyed at the endless thumbnails of what would presumably form my Historical presentation, I promptly fell asleep for the duration of the trip (…the next time I would see the slides would be with the audience − who, coincidentally, also fell promptly asleep…).
We flew into the Dallas Love Field Airport, picked up the rental, headed straight to the main Dallas airport to pick up Frank, and finally to the hotel by about dinner time. Joe, meanwhile, was waiting for our special guest Hiro Takai, stuck in a 2 hour line in Customs (Officer: “a koto harp guitar? Yeah, right...”).
As we walked into the Hilton lobby after a quick settle-in, there he was. Those of you who have experienced Hiro should not be surprised to learn that the embrace lasted for at least a full five minutes. Each. Three years ago we parted with even more emotion and the words “We will not say ‘goodbye,’ but ‘until next time’.”
And so, now it was the next time, and the Gathering did not disappoint, nor did Hiro.
After a long, relaxing Tex-Mex dinner (Linda Morgan joining us), we made plans for Thursday’s preparations…
…including an impromptu and incredible musical side trip for Frank, Hiro and myself! (tomorrow)