Duke

In July 2002, just less than a year after I’d changed employment from being an FAA contractor in Washington, D.C., to becoming a NASA contractor in Silicon Valley in support of a joint FAA/NASA aeronautics (the first ‘A’ in NASA) research and development program that I’d supported since 1996, I had the opportunity of attending a three-day off- site meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, located just north of Washington state. Having done my Jazz research in advance (of course!), I was keenly aware of a famous Jazz club in Seattle called Jazz Alley, although having never visited there before, and discovered that the driving distance from Vancouver was only 143 miles, no problem! So once Day 1 meetings adjourned, I was out of there! Since I had my own rental car, while my co-workers were hitting the local gyms, bars, and restaurants, I was cruising southbound on Interstate 5. I do recall while still driving in British Columbia and just catching a glimpse of a distance sign (the digits only), my heart just sank. What I saw was something like “209 km”, NOT “209 miles”! The former is approximately 130 miles. “Okay, that’s more like it,” I thought! Whew!!! Anyway, I arrived safely in Seattle, found Jazz Alley without getting lost, parked the rental car, and saw a wonderful, swinging set by the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, featuring Peter Bernstein on guitar and ??? on drums, with special guest Arthur Blythe on alto saxophone. Afterward, being in a college town, I stopped by two different Tower Records stores. I then checked into the Bellevue Hilton Hotel ~10 miles outside Seattle, got a short night’s sleep, then hit the road northbound non-stop back to Vancouver in time for Day 2’s 9:00 A.M. meeting. For me, the detour to Jazz Alley no doubt made this ‘business’ trip worthwhile!!!

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