Filed by John Rouser
I am typing this in the bus at 7:30 Monday night on the way to the hotel from Southside Seaport. We have not actually been to the hotel yet so we are all very tired. We left OHS around 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon. We had a couple of problems with the buses over night so we were a little late arriving in N.J. for breakfast. I can tell you there is no comfortable position on a bus for 16 hours. There was a pleasant surprise when I awoke around 6 this morning and saw about two-three inches os snow in eastern Pennsylvania. After breakfast we toured Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty before taking a walking tour of lo wer Ma nhattan. As mentioned earlier no was has slept more than three hours in the past two days and we are a little slap happy. I asked Jacob my son if he wanted to say anything, but he is too tired. More tomorrow.
Tuesday we woke early. I am a chaperone so I had to bang on doors at 5:45. Those five hours of sleep were great. After breakfast at the Hard Rock we had bus tours of the city. All of the tour guides are character actors and have a great wealth of knowledege and passion about their city. We stopped in Central Park at the Strawberry Field, the John Lennon memorial and heard the un-official mayor of Central Park tell about John and Yoko. We ended the tour at Grand Central Terminal (not station like most of us southerns refer to it.) After lunch at the food court where I had the best clam chowder we had free time with the kids. I took a group of 14 up Fifth Avenue. We stopped and shopped and people watched for about 30 blocks. Moving 14 teenagers through the crowd is like herding cats. We ended our walk at FAO Schwartz. What a great place. After an ea rly supper at the Mars restaurant, which is a neat place, we all gathered in Times Square for a group picture. Mr. Denton and a couple of instructors and I then took the seniors out to Sardi's for a late dinner and thanks for four hard years of work. The students had a great time and I don't think there has been so much laughter in the place for a while.
5:45 Wednesday morning and it is back to banging on the doors. We went to Plant Hollywood for breakfast and then the students went to N.J. to practice. Gerry, my wife, and I went back to the hotel for a nap. I think that was the best hour I have had. We are now going to walk around a bit before meeting back up with the students for a trip to China town and early to bed. We have to report to Central Park at 3 a.m. tomorrow so it will be a 1door banging.
Look for us around 10:26 and if I get the chance I will send in another blog.
John R. Rouser is the father of two band members and is accompanying the Ooltewah High School Band appearing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.