Photo: Maestro Goodman University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Bernard M. Goodman, Director
1964 South American Tour, “Virtual 40th Anniversary Reunion”
 

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 22:38:00
From: Tom Jewett
Subject: Bogota arrival

This is a truly unique, personal experience, but I've got to share it with you anyway. Unlike everyone else's full-semester preparation for the tour, I had about a week to get ready for my trip there as a substitute. Yes, that included all the innoculations (ouch). I remember Mr. Swenson joking that I might use soap instead of rosin on the bow for the first few concerts (since I'd be sight-reading everything)!

I arrived in Bogota (from Champaign) on the same day that the orchestra arrived from Caracas, only several hours later. All of the equipment was missing from the group flight; my luggage was missing from my flight. Late at night, by myself in the mostly-deserted airport, I had no idea how to find the orchestra in a strange city, especially since I didn't know a word of Spanish. Thank goodness that one of the attendants from my flight came to the rescue, somehow finding out the hotel (Tequendama) and directing the taxi driver to it.

The real "punch line" here is that when I walked into the hotel after a *long* day of travel hassles, there in the lobby were my friends -- who didn't seem to notice that I hadn't been there all along: "Hey, Tom, let's grab a beer!" Thus my first lesson in Spanish, and an appropriate one for the rest of the tour: "uno cerveza, por favor!"

Tom

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