The bus driver

For two reasons…..one: Vienna is too beautiful not to blog about…..two: I’m awaiting the arrival of the completely unique cable that connects my video camera to my computer (thus robbing it of the ability to both charge, and transfer video into my computer) I write instead of post a video. I have been taking video….and have been promised that the cable was found in Prague, so I should be okay. The battery of my camera is critically low, so I’m hoping that the PSO’s lost and found package (yes, we leave a trail wherever we go) arrives today. Today is the orchestra’s second day off since Frankfurt…..yesterday we had a travel day with no concert which could be considered a day off, but really……..even a medium short flight can make you feel a little spacey for the rest of the day. The drive on this particular day however, was beautiful…..over some beautiful mountains and along a gorgeous river with cottages that gave me the impression that we were going through an area of “summer homes”. It was possibly our longest bus ride of the trip…….at least I think it was this bus trip, some of them have blended together….I’ll sort it out when I look at the video (the one thing I’m POSITIVE about is that the trip took us through mountains and logging country).

For some reason I had decided that 3 was my lucky number for the day, and jumped on the number 3 bus for the long trip. As I look back it possibly was true, but for a frightening split-second I became very “un-superstitious”. Really, I’m not superstitious in any way that I know of……the number was just a random pick that for some reason I followed through with. My habit on the bus is to keep my computer open for video editing and to keep the camera handy for taking shots that show up along the way. Any of you who have looked at my videos can see the formulaic start of the day, travel and concert pattern of the videos that I’ve posted so far. At one point in this trip I had finished editing the video portion of a project (I have audio work left to do), and decided to show it to Marcie to see if she saw any problems with it (we have work rules and guidelines that must be followed, and at this point….blogging….especially video blogging has the potential to blur lines and possibly break rules, since it is a new facet of the PSO’s image). The bus was cruising along up a relatively steep hill. As I was kneeling next to Marcie in the aisle of the bus showing her the video, I saw out of the corner of my eye a fully loaded lumber truck with many tons of freshly harvested trees start to pull right into us. If it weren’t for the immediate and instinctive reaction of our driver (I wish I asked him his name….I thanked him afterward), there could have been a disaster. The driver braked hard, there was an audible gasp from the cabin of the bus….and then it was business as usual. He (the driver) didn’t even have time to honk (I do understand from the riders of bus 4 that THEIR driver did honk and give the lumber truck driver a little piece of his mind after witnessing the event from behind). In general I don’t think of touring as dangerous….especially as we get farther and farther away from 9/11 (the PSO was the 1st major symphony orchestra to tour after 9/11), but on occasion there are times when I wish that I had told my family I love them one extra time. That was one of those times. Thanks to that driver whose professionalism and reflexes gave us all another chance to tell those we care about that we love them one more time.

That event is barely a memory now that we are in Maestro Honeck’s hometown preparing in our hotel rooms for what we hope are the highlight concerts of this tour (although I’ve seen that we’ve gotten some uniformly great reviews), and I hope that this basically comes across as a story of a “day in the life” of the PSO (and not a common one either). One aspect of touring that we don’t think about (or talk about much) is that there’s risk involved in getting 100+ people from point A-Z and I’m grateful that we have good people working for us to accomplish this. Kudos to them all.

4 Responses to “The bus driver”

  1. C says:

    wow that sounds like it was scary!

  2. Lisa H says:

    Can’t wait to see the pictures!

  3. Bob Lauver says:

    I don’t think anybody in the back of the bus knew how close it really was. I habitually sit in the back row of the bus in bus trips and all my stuff was on the floor when I went back there from showing Marcie the video. We were lucky……and that driver had mad skilz.

  4. Doug Bauman says:

    What a moving post! Your anecdote is amazing, and makes one really think! Keep safe.

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May 25