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As often is the case, July started off with a bang! But adding to the traditional fireworks was a fun evening with Rosalynn, her husband, Bob, and friends at their beautiful Club in Cleveland. I hadn’t seen my silver medalist, figure skater friend (yes, that Rosalynn) in almost a year and we had a great time catching up. We always love getting together with Roz and Bob.

The 14th of the month took me to Salt Lake City for a show with Jim, at Draper Auditorium. I flew from Cleveland through Denver, and landed in Salt Lake. It was steamy at 88 degrees, but thankfully, Jim picked me up at the airport and we were able to cool off over lunch before heading to our hotel.
After a short nap, I met him in the lobby at around 5 pm to go the theatre for sound check. When we stepped outside, the thermometer read 110 degrees…And the show was taking place outdoors! Yikes! Fortunately, desert temps cool down at night; so by the time we hit the stage at 8:00, it had cooled off to 80°, which was just fine by me.
The venue was a charming amphitheater in the city of Draper (I will admit to desperately searching the crowd for Don…). The audience was terrific and Jim and I had a great evening! We flew back to Cleveland together the following day, along with our production manager, Will.

The next day was Wednesday and I awoke with a horrendous sore throat and that run-down feeling I recognized as the beginning of something nasty. I tried to nip it in the bud by resting, drinking lots of liquids and taking cold medicine.
Thursday was to be the first day of The Brickman Bash in Cleveland--a four-day fan fest bringing 200 Jim Brickman fans together in his home town. I was looking forward to the meet & greet session on opening night and to enjoying all the wonderful folks coming in from all over the US. Sadly, I was unable to attend: it hurt just to speak and I had to get well for the closing night concert at Cain Park, two days later!

Meanwhile, the “Bashers” enjoyed The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Shooter’s in The Flats, a mini cruise on the Nautica Queen, dinner at Nighttown and a private solo piano concert at Jim’s alma mater, The Cleveland Institute of Music.
Missing out on all the fun, on Friday I saw my doctor who prescribed an antibiotic. It helped a bit. Saturday was a rainy day, but the rain held off for the concert before 1,200 people. My friend, Abe LaMarca, joined Tracy, Jim and me for “Destiny” and “Peace”. Abe and I also sang our single “Rise and Shine”, with Tracy chiming in for extra spice. My bug subsided long enough for me to make it through the show…and the audience was fantastic! But by the end of the night the sore throat was back and hit really hard the next day. To add insult to injury, it turned into a prolonged virus and I am still getting over it…

As fate would have it, our social agenda was teeming with dinner dates. The following week, I re-emerged, and Ed and I attended a “Celebration of Arts and Business dinner, hosted by friend Darlyn McDermott, at Fire, in honor of Nina Freedlander Gibans and Jim Gibans. Nina is a poet and author and her husband is an architect and co-author of their newest book entitled “Cleveland Goes Modern - Design for the Home , 1930 – 1970”. Ed and I were honored to sit across from them at dinner. I hope I didn’t leave any germs in my wake!
The following night we had dinner with our old friend, Andy, in town from Washington D.C. We ate at the incredible Crop Bistro, in downtown Cleveland. It was great to see Andy and we all enjoyed a fabulous meal. Two days later, I attended a fun, 3rd annual class reunion at my friend Scott’s house. He, his wife, Sandi and my good friend, Carol, hosted a wonderful party. There were about 30 of us and although I was still not feeling 100%, I enjoyed re-connecting with classmates, even in the rain (again!).

Coming up is a family reunion of sorts, bringing in members from Denver and Charlotte and LA. Even my sister and nieces from France will be joining us! We’re very excited!
And it distracts me from the flood damage all over our basement that followed this weekend’s big storm. We were without power and our cars were held hostage in the garage for 24 hours! And now for the big clean-up, ew.
But I digress. I‘ll tell you all about the big family meet-up next month. It’s going to be amazing!
Enjoy the last days of summer!