Nashville trip beat the band

Music City is one of the best places I have been in recent memory.

Nashville was the site of the annual Indepen?dent Free Papers of America conference and trade show held at the Downtown Nashville Hilton.

It was a great conference and the hotel was one block from Broadway, where all of the honky tonks are located?which made it even better.

Since I was doing the trade show, I arrived a day early to get settled and set up my booth. I had time to go out and listen to all of the wannabes performing at places like Tootsies, Legends, The Stage and Robert?s Western World. They work for tips and CD sales.

The best band I heard was the Don Kelley Band at Robert?s Western World. The bass player, Dave Roe, was a member of The Tennessee Three?Johnny Cash?s road band. In fact, this band was awesome. I went back three times to hear them.

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I traveled the Kansas Turnpike to the Kansas City airport where I saw the billboard featuring KU graduate student and Hillsboro?s own Emily Ratzlaff Arnold. It?s a great picture of her and it?s located just before the rest area east of Lawrence.

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I flew Southwest Airlines for the first time because I couldn?t find a cheap ticket out Wichita, plus bags fly free and I had four of them?two checked and two carry-on. The other neat thing is that there are no seat assignments. You just get on and sit where you find a seat.

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I read where the Texas Longhorns football team got its welcome to the Pac 10 this past Saturday. Maybe staying in the Big XII isn?t so bad.

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Visiting Nashville was great, but leaving wasn?t so great.

My flight schedule was going to allow me to catch part of the KU football game on the way home, and that was my plan.

But things went very awry. I checked my luggage at the hotel desk because checkout was before the conference was over. When it was time to grab the shuttle to the airport I had them bring my bags to the curb.

One problem: My backpack with my computer, jacket, meds and other important stuff wasn?t there.

The bellhop was gone for quite a while when my backpack wasn?t found. Eventually, he came out to tell me my backpack was in the trunk of a hotel guest?s car that left for Ohio two hours ago.

Not good. But while I was trying to sort out what to do about this problem, Little Richard arrived in an SUV and was rolled into the Hilton in a wheelchair by his bodyguard. That was my celebrity sighting for the week. On Wikepedia it said the performer was recovering from hip surgery in 2009.

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The whole baggage situation had me so flummoxed I forgot to put my pocket knife in my checked bags, so I lost it again in security with my carry-on stuff. I am going to have to buy pocket knives in bulk or just quit taking them with me. If Nancy had been with me, I wouldn?t have made that mistake.

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Now that I am back home, I learned that my backpack will be FedExed from Ohio and should arrive Wednesday.

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Two guys are across the river from each other and one yells to the other, ?How do you get across the river??

The other one yells back, ?You are across the river!?

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