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USA Trip

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Colorado -- June 15 to 19

On Monday, June 15th, I flew to Denver and Alan Cass (a great gentleman) fetched me at the Denver airport. That was the beginning of another most amazing few days ! That evening we had dinner, prepared beautifully for us by Sue Cass, Alan's most charming wife, at their beautiful home in Longmont, a lovely town near Denver and Boulder (the University of Colorado is in Boulder).

On the 16th Alan took me to Fort Morgan, where Glenn Miller had gone to high school, and where he matriculated in the early 1920's. The Millers had stayed in a number of houses in Fort Morgan, a town smaller than Boulder or Longmont. I took photographs of all those houses. We returned to Longmont to collect Sue for dinner and an early night.

On the 17th Alan and I got up early, because we had to drive to Denver airport again, to fetch Dennis Spragg (another FINE fellow !), who had flown in from Boston, where he lives, to spend quality time with us. We then collected Sue and the four of us went to the Rockies ! We drove right up to the top, where I saw more snow than I had ever seen ! And that in their summer. It was beautiful ! Late in the day, after dinner at another restaurant, we got home to "HENRY COURT" (YES!) which is where the Casses live. Dennis phoned Steve Miller, Glenn's son, and then handed the phone to me. I had never spoken to Steve before, and found him charming. We agreed that Glenn's AAF/AEF orchestra was far superior to his Civilian Band ! Another phone call brought more delight to me: Dave Smith, the Founder/Moderator of the Glenn Miller Fans Discussion Group, phoned Dennis, and also spoke to me. Another super gent.

Thursday, June 18th, was my last day in the USA, but what a day it turned out to be.Alan, Dennis and I had a date with Rick Crandall, Programme Director of radio station KEZW in Denver, for a one hour 'visit" on his Breakfast Programme. And it turned out great ! As usual, old "big mouth" Holloway did most of the talking. After the broadcast, through the day, Alan and Dennis received many congratulatory calls…….. THEN we went to Boulder, and for the next number of hours Alan and Dennis amazed me with things Miller which I had never heard or seen ! The Glenn Miller Archive at the University of Colorado is the world's largest Glenn Miller repository. Among the very rare items which Alan and Dennis played for me was Glenn's spoken Christmas message of December 25, 1944 to his wife, Helen. It was recorded for Glenn on the 6th December, but only reached Helen after Christmas. As some of you will know, Helen was told on Christmas Eve that Glenn was missing. Imagine the poignancy of it.

Dennis then took a picture of Alan and me sitting on the small bridge on the campus, exactly where James Stewart and June Allyson had sat (while filming "The Glenn Miller Story" in 1953), when "Glenn" told "Helen" that he one day wanted to start his own band, and create a unique "sound" with it ! Wow, how historic can you get ? And then, at the end of that amazing day, we had dinner (my LAST dinner of the trip) with Bill Suitts, the man who bought Fred Shaw's logbook (for $43,000 !) and his wife, Beth. Of course Alan and Sue Cass, Dennis Spragg (and Barbara Zarlengo, from the University of Colorado Foundation), joined us for this dinner. Why Barbara ? Because, during the broadcast with Rick Crandall, I had said that I would like to leave my entire Miller collection to the University of Colorado's Glenn Miller Archive. So Barbara gave me a letter of thanks, and it included the following: "I welcome you as a member of the Heritage Society of the University of Colorado Foundation". What a nice way to end this dinner, a remarkable day, in fact my whole American trip !

When we got home to the Cass house on "Henry Court" in Longmont, I had to pack my suitcases, and only fell into bed towards midnight.

Alan, Dennis and I got up at 5 am on the 19th, because they wanted to take me to Denver airport for my 8.45 am flight to Cape Town. I had said goodbye to dear Sue during the evening, and there were a few weepy eyes when I finally said goodbye to "brothers" Alan and Dennis. No sleep on the flight home, so I slept for two days afterwards at home! Altogether, in my humble opinion, an amazing story ! Henry Holloway — July 3 2009






Some hits I missed !


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