I have been writing about some of the stars I encountered while working at Caribou Ranch in Nederland, Colorado. For my loyal readers, here is another one.

I just got off the phone with a good friend. She and I are going to meet in Hawaii in early January for a reunion. We’ve not seen one another for a few years. She lived in Hawaii for several years and I had the incredible fortune of getting to visit her there many times. I love Hawaii!

But back to Caribou; one morning I was assigned the breakfast shift. The morning routine always started with making pots of coffee in the Bunn O-Matic. Next step, fire up the 8-burner Wolf grill.

A note was taped to the hood of the grill. The note simply said “Gone to Hawaii. Will be back in one week.” (I won’t divulge any names here.)

Apparently, one of the servers from the dinner shift had flown off to Hawaii with a member of the band that was at the Ranch. That band was America.

We’d all been humming some of America’s songs in anticipation of their visit. I Need You, Ventura Highway, A Horse with No Name, Sister Golder Hair. There were so many songs that we all loved. They were easy to hum and some of the lyrics really resonated. I am a big fan of bands that can harmonize.

I don’t remember which album they were there to record when this escapade happened.

In 1977, America released Harbor, Silent Letter in 1979, and in 1982, View from the Ground (You Can Do Magic). It could have been any of those. And, in June of 1978, they played at Red Rocks. Many stars came to stay at the Ranch when they were playing at Red Rocks.

The band was easy to for me to work with; they didn’t have any unusual food requirements or requests.

I think it was while they were there that another one of the kitchen staff accidentally used a wooden spoon to scrape down the contents of the blender (while the blender was fully operating) for that night’s dessert. The chocolate mousse had an extra “woody” taste that night. (The very first day I worked the kitchen shift, I flooded the floor with doing something wrong with the commercial coffee machine. Mistakes happened.)

Every dinner included the standards, a soup, a salad, the mains and a dessert. Of course, a very good wine was an essential part of every meal. Dessert was served with the after-dinner Courvoisier in ceremonial cognac snifters.

Maybe it was just the abundant cognac or maybe it was the extra special mousse but not every dinner ended up with one of the staff flying off to Hawaii. But that on one night, magic really, truly happened.

And in January, I myself will be magically “Gone to Hawaii.”