When I first started writing about my travels and events over the past few weeks, I didn’t realize there’d be a part two, much less a miniseries. When I write, I really don’t know what I’m going to write about until I sit down to do so.
So let me catch you up like episodic TV shows used to do before the newest show aired. Perhaps they still do but since I don’t watch TV, I have no idea.
Previously on “Dynasty” ...I hate being away from the family, especially Abigail Jennings. She’s only 19 months old so this time with her is precious. I’ve only slept away from home 15 nights this year so it’s not as if I’m always gone.
Most of my comedy gigs and speaking engagements are done solo but I work several times a year with a group of comedians who are not only great friends but fellow veterans. The group was created by former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thom Tran. We are called The GIs of Comedy.
In 2019, we’ll be bringing the laughter to no less than 29 U.S. Air Force bases from coast to coast. There are 12 comedians on the team; however, there will only be three of us at each show.
Based on availability, I just happen to be on 10 of these shows. So far, I’ve done six, all with the aforementioned Tran and one of my newest friends, Les Jennings, an Air Force veteran. I met Les briefly in 2015 but we really got to know each other the last few weeks. I love that dude even if he is vegan.
Earlier in the month, we were at Fairchild, Malmstrom and Mountain Home air bases in Washington, Montana and Idaho, respectively. In spite of the nosebleeds due to lack of humidity, I really loved Idaho. I’d been through there several times while stationed in the Pacific Northwest but never long enough to bleed.
Home is where the heart is and for some of us it’s where the humidity is too, at least for now.
In my last column, I was just about to land in Denver, which, by the way, was the setting for “Dynasty.” I met up with Les while we waited for Thom to pick us up. He’d actually arrived a day earlier.
The weather was great in Denver. We drove south toward Colorado Springs. Although we stayed on Peterson AFB, our first show was at nearby Schriever AFB, where a lot of secret squirrel Space Force stuff happens. Our sponsor was a retired Air Force guy named Eric who was just a super cool guy. He took us to meet some of the leadership. We spent the bulk of our time with the vice commander, Col. Jack Fischer, who was simply fascinating. He was an astronaut, having served aboard the International Space Station for several months in 2017.
We stayed and played at Buckley AFB the next day. It was my favorite stop of the tour thus far. I’m ready to go back.
One of my longtime Facebook friends, whom I’d never met, was there for the show. Like me, he is also a stutterer. I love performing for my people.
The next day, we were scheduled for a short flight to Rapid City, South Dakota. We were halfway there when we had to turn around and go back to Denver due to a mechanical error. We changed planes and made it to Rapid City in no time.
The flight may have been quick but the temperature must have dropped 30 degrees. Not only that, the wind was howling. I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt so I was freezing. I don’t think I’ll ever live there.
We had our show that night. We met some great people. I even got a “War Eagle” or two but not from my new friend George, a Georgia Tech grad and a lieutenant colonel. Before the night was over, it began to snow just a little.
Our sponsors took good care of us at all three bases — all six if I’m talking about the whole month.
Our flight back to Denver the next morning was delayed but not because of the snow; the crew needed rest. The boys made their connecting flight back to L.A. but I missed mine back to Atlanta, which was OK. If you’re going to be stuck in an airport for a few hours, Denver is near the top of the list.
I made it back home safe and sound, as did Thom and Les. The snow continued to fall in Rapid City while the bottom fell out in Colorado. Here, it’s almost 100 degrees and it’s not even June. Either way, I’m glad to be home for a while but I can’t help but wonder what the temperature is on the space station.
Next week, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program.