I got home from my “One Man and His Horn” tour on Tuesday morning. I had been to thirteen cities in two weeks. One day in each city didn’t give me much down time. If I wasn’t playing, I was in a coffee shop writing my blog or in my journal. If I wasn’t doing that, I was driving or sleeping. However from what I did see, there were several cities I would like to visit again soon, for business or pleasure. This trip was purely business.
From the night I left, I had only one thing on my mind – do whatever it takes to play as much as I can in each city. There were times I only got to play for less than an hour and then I was off to the next one. In two cases, I played in two different states in the same day. There was a lot of driving. In this entire series of my blog, I mostly talked about the pleasant experiences I was having and the cool people I was meeting. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There were sacrifices that were made, which I made by choice. I slept in my car most of the time, I suppose that is part of the territory on a trip like this. I knew there were going to be people along the way that I could crash with, be it family or friends — Thank you!
There were times though, when I was out for a few hours and not making any money. As a business venture, like any other, I took some losses. What I gained though, was much more valuable than any amount of money could have brought. I learned a lot about people, and overall (like Anne Frank said) “Truly people are good at heart” I found that to be more true in some places than in others though. In some cases, there are certain perceptions people have about buskers. It seemed that there were some who thought buskers are the dregs of society. Even as presentable as I was, or even with my own tour shirt on, in some instances, people thought I was homeless and wouldn’t give me the time of day when I just wanted to ask a question. It was as if they thought I wanted somethimg from them. They were few and far between but they are there. The positive reception I received on the road was far greater than the negative and I am looking forward to my next road trip. For example, in Montgomery, Memphis and Knoxville, the people there were so welcoming. A lot of people asked me when I was coming back, and was told when I do, to give them a call if I need a place to stay. I was hired to play in front of a restaurant for an hour. I was even asked to stay in one place! It is nice to know that in other parts of the country I had never been to, I am welcome back with open arms.
I learned a lot about police officers. I didn’t have a problem with any of them. This is for any other buskers who may read this. Whether they be a man, woman, black, white or latino, everyone of them were wonderful and helpful. In fact they were the most helpful to me in where to find a good spot! It is just my observation, and seems common sense to me, just be respectful and presentable and you will be fine. If they ask you leave, just leave politely and don’t give them an attitude. There were two instances where permits were necassary and I was asked to leave. I get it. In Savannah, one needs a permit through the Leisure Services Dept. They are free, but you have to be a resident. I have been here for a year and a half and sometimes I still get asked to see mine. When other buskers come through, I do my best to give them a heads up. And sometimes, they will give ME an attitude. I can’t imagine what they would say to an officer.
I learned a lot about myself. I learned life on the road is a very humbling experience. It can be challenging! This was my first road trip. My brother-in-law (tour manager) Ed and I looked at the calender of events for each city at the time I would be there. There were decisions I wasn’t sure of and Ed was there to help me along. Thank you, Ed! For example, twice I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay a second day and after talking with him I did. He was the computer looking at the events again and said it would be a good idea. Also, I didn’t know how to use the new phone apps quite yet , and I called for navigation. It was nice having that in my pocket. An excellent support system when I needed it!
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time out to tour with me! Stay tuned…..