Thursday, February 2, 2006

Graduate School Tour Day 11 - Back to Palm Trees

        On Thursday I woke up early and met with Deborah Kelley and one of her graduate students only to find that she already has 3 students and can't take on anymore... oh well...   I ran back to my car and was able to make it to the Seattle/Tacoma International airport in about 40 minutes arriving at 10am with plenty of time before my 11:30am flight.  I easily found the rental car return area.... ready for this... 2382 miles total from San Diego to the return lot.  I put that Chevy Cobalt through hell and it held together like a champ.  While walking through the airport I noticed that the sky was clearing.  It really was amazing that out of the 5 days I was there in Seattle it only rained on Sunday and Tuesday.  I stopped at an asian fast food place in the airport for some lunch and had great views out the giant glass windows of the snow coverd peaks of Olympic National Park.  I never got to see the Cascades through the clouds or Mt. Ranier but it was wonderful seeing the Olympics right before I took off to Denver for my connecting flight.
       Here is where the day gets very interesting.  In Denver I passed by the cafeteria that Kenny and I 5-finger discounted on our trip back from Tahoe last winter and gave him a quick call to laugh about it.  I had a couple hours to kill at Denver so I walked around the airport and charged my ipod and phone for the trip so I could watch movies on the 3 hour flight to Miami.  That's when I noticed someone who looked very familiar.  Nearly a week ago and in Oregon, not Denver, I had seen G-Love front row and the upright acoustic string bass player Jimmy Prescott seemed to be on the same plane as me flying from Denver to Miami.  How could this be?... what are the chances.... If you have seen Jimmy Prescott he appears to be a man in his late thirtees to early 40s with scraggly long blonde hair.  He could be the nicest guy in the world, which I'm sure he is, but he doesn't look like the kind of guy you would want to approach and inquire about.  And come on... what are the chances...  When we landed at 10:30pm in Miami and were waiting for our bags a guy came in and said to him that the cars were ready for him... at that point I should have walked right over and just asked. 
        Well, I later found out in a google search that G-Love indeed was playing in Miami with Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews that weekend so it must have been him.  I later found out that he had met G-Love while playing at local jazz joints around Boston, MA.  I read about several places that I used to go to while living in Boston where he first played with Garrett Dutton (G-Love).  I also heard a rumor that he was born in upstate, NY (I still have to check on that one).  I really wish I had worked up the nerve to go say something to him because I'm sure we would have had a great conversation.   
        I found my way to the rental agency where I booked another Budget car and picked up another Chevy Cobalt, although this one had 4 doors.  I was running on 50 dollars left to my name - 45 of which I had to give to a guy named Hector who was providing a place for me to stay at his apartment close to the Miami Rosenstiel School.  That left me 5 dollars to my name to last 3 days in Miami and all the interstates had toll booths!!!  So I decided to take the back roads from the airport through the city to Hectors house stopping at a Burger King for a late night meal.  Thankfully I'm good with directions and arrived at his house at a little after midnight to find the front door locked.  I called him on his cell phone and he let me in.  I had gone from freezing Seattle to staying with a latino guy named Hector who was in his late 30's in a run down house on in the suburbs of Miami in 80 degree heat at night!  What a change!  I charged up my stuff, barely unpacked and climbed into bed for the night.  Hector had told me I could follow him to the school in the moring at about 8:45am which I was happy about because I wasn't really sure which way to go.  I walked outside briefly to grab some stuff from my car and noticed that there were bugs all over the seats of my car.  I don't know how the hell they got in but I spent about 5 minutes smashing them and hoping they would go away by the next morning.  So far Miami had not really given me a nice warm feeling...


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