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  • Dan Duguay

A Random trip to Oklahoma

For Cal.

Crowd watches busker in Edinburgh
Dan busking in 2001

The year was 2003, Dave was a workaholic. He never wanted to go anywhere or do anything besides work. His wife Sherry had pleaded with him many times to go on a vacation, but he’d always refused. She gathered support from their friends Richard and Wanda. Richard and Wanda were worldly. Sherry thought that maybe the three of them could convince Dave to take a holiday.

They had their sights set on New Zealand. Sherry had always wanted to go there.

Dave didn’t want to go. It was too far, it took too long to get there and what was there in New Zealand that they couldn’t have in the U.S.A?

After enough cajoling, they finally convinced Dave to go to New Zealand. “But only for a week!”... he put his foot down. It was the first time Dave had ever left the country.

Everyone at home knew about Dave not being much of a traveler. Soooo...

When he got back from the trip, many friends and family asked Dave how it was and what were the highlights. The first thing he started with was…

We saw this guy in Queenstown, he had these instruments attached to his body and he played 'em all at the same time! He called himself “Dan the One Man Band”. It was so much fun to watch, we had a great night. His repertoire of songs was amazing. He really had the crowd!”...

The highlight of his trip to New Zealand was seeing a Canadian performing on the street in a random town in a fascinating country.

Not long after Dave got home from his trip to NZ, Sherry started planning a birthday party for Dave. It was a big one, The big 5-0.

Sherry got a crazy idea to try and book the one-man band Dave saw in NZ. They were back in Oklahoma and had no idea where the one-man band was, where he lived, or whether he would be available. As it goes, it was the dawn of a new era, where you could pretty much find anybody anywhere. As luck would have it,

the one-man band was back in North America, and

Busker, Street Performer
Dan the One Man Band 2003

willing and able to make the flight down to Oklahoma…

I got an email inviting me to Oklahoma to be a part of a birthday celebration. Sherry explained what an impact I’d had on her husband. Was I available to come and how much would it cost?

We were able to negotiate a good performance fee with all expenses paid, for me to fly down to Oklahoma to perform at Dave’s 50th birthday.

It took some coordination to keep it a secret, but we pulled it off. I stayed with their friends Richard and Wanda for the time I was there. They were lovely people who were a tiny bit surprised that I put my trust in these random people.

On the night of the party, the look on Dave’s face when I walked into the room was priceless. He was in shock with a grin on his face. He couldn’t believe that the guy he saw in New Zealand was now performing in a room in Oklahoma for him and his family and friends. We had so much fun! I got Dave up singing an old Marty Robbins tune with me. It was such a memorable experience for me. Who flies to Oklahoma to perform at a 50th birthday party? It felt so random, but I embrace random. My hosts were so kind and the whole event was a great adventure.

It amazed me that I was able to pick up this gig based on performing in a country on the other side of the globe, in a little bitty town called Queenstown.

Another example of how, when you put yourself out there, you never know where you'll end up.

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