Dec. 13, 2003 – Folksong writer/performer Tom Rush has nice things to say about St. Thomas and some of its denizens in his latest e-mail newsletter to fans. And that's despite his having been in the territory on vacation last month during, as he puts it, "the deluge."
In the Dec. 12 posting, he writes: "We got home to Wyoming after three weeks in the Caribbean to find that November had blessed Jackson Hole with a record amount of snow. It's a blessing I could have done without — I'm a shoveler, not a skier, and we hadn't planned to be gone so long and so hadn't prepared for a deep-winter re-entry. Which means that I was wandering around the airport parking lot in shorts and flip-flops, in the dark, trying to divine which pile of snow contained our car.
"Oh, well — the Islands were great. Many thanks to Alex MacDonald for getting us down there, Henry Carlin for giving us the backstage tour of St. Tom, and Jamie Holmes of the Ritz for keeping us dry in style during the deluge." (Holmes is general manager of the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas.)
Rush first set foot in the territory in February of 2001, joined by 40 rooms worth of family, friends and fans at Wyndham Sugar Bay on St. Thomas for a week of music-making in celebration of his 60th birthday. While on island, he paid a courtesy call on the late Rhoda Tillett, which led to a booking for a Tillett Gardens concert in January of 2002. That date came with a block booking with the St. John School of the Arts, which held its concert in the ballroom of the Westin Resort.
Last month, a vacation break took Rush and his wife, Renee, and their 4-year-old daughter, Siena, back to the Westin, where they had nothing in mind but some fun in the sun.
But these are small islands, and word soon made its way across Pillsbury Sound. Brian Hollenbaugh, owner of the new Jack's restaurant in Tillett Gardens, and Henry Karlin (with a K), dentist by day and Public Nuisance rock musician by night, managed to connect with Rush and persuaded him to perform an all-but-impromptu concert Nov. 16 at Jack's.
For a guy whose career hit the big time four decades ago with a song called "The Circle Game," it all had to make perfect sense.
Want to know about Rush's winter tour schedule or his "Trolling for Owls" comedy CD that started out as a concert- and mailing-list only item but is now out in a second edition to try to keep up with demand? Visit the Tom Rush Web site.
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