Our 921-mile drive to Norfolk for today's day off started about 1:30am last night in Memphis, and came to an abrupt halt around 7:30 this morning about 20 miles east of Knoxville. That's when the second of the two wild turkeys that were flying across I-40 didn't quite clear the big ol' tour bus that was bearing down on it.
Alas, the bird is no more.
I was actually lying awake in my bunk, about to climb out, when it happened. Eugene, my driver got the bus off the road quickly and I went up front with Gratton to see what the heck was up. Blood, feathers and one helluva lot of broken glass was all over the place. That's what happens when a bird that weighs that much (females average 10 lbs., males 17 lbs.) collides with a sheet of glass traveling 70mph.
From the outside:
From the inside:
If that damn bird had hit about 2 feet to the right of where it did (on the other pane), all bets would have been off. If Eugene had been hit or sprayed with all that glass in his face, we could have been in deep shit! We were very, very lucky.
We sat there for about an hour and a half, while our fearless leader (Gratton) got Plans A, B, and C in the works. Plan C kinda came about at the last minute, when the bus company found a windshield available 20 miles behind us, back in Knoxville.
Four hours later, we were on the road again, and Eugene humped the 500 miles to Norfolk without a single stop.
Pulled up to the hotel at 10:15pm, dropped bags, and then Bill Sheppell (our FOH Engineer) and I split for Hooters for dinner and drinks, followed by walking about 8 blocks to some bar where my friend Gina Dalmas was playing a gig. We got to see the last 30-35 minutes of her show, then hung for a bit so I could visit with her. Back in my room about 1am or so…