Howard Hewett

*Guess who’s stuck over in London because of the airlines being shut down because of the volcanic ash clouds? Non other than Howard Hewett and his Shalamar cohorts Jeffrey Daniel and Carolyn Griffey.

The trio had been in Africa doing dates and had stopped off in London for additional dates before returning to the States, so they thought.

As we all know the volcano in Iceland blew its top spewing micro-thin particles of dust into the upper atmosphere all over Northern Europe.

Because it was feared the ash could enter aircraft engines’ turbines and cause a shutdown, airlines grounded thousands of flights and stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers all over the world heading into and out of London, The UK and other European countries.

The good news for Howard and Shalamar is that for now, planes are flying again. But the bad news is that they’re still stuck and won’t be able to leave until at least Thursday because they have to wait their turn.

Yesterday, Tuesday, Lee Bailey communicated with Hewett via email to get a sense of how he’s dealing with the situation:

What are they telling you as to when you MIGHT be leaving?

As of right now, and probably as you know by now, they’ve opened the British Airspace again…I’ve been rescheduled to leave on the 22nd, Thursday.  And I’m “keeping Hope alive” and believing I’ll be on that plane.

How is this affecting your schedule?

As far as my schedule is concerned … I’m supposed to be in Columbus, Ohio on the 23rd for a performance but that will have to be re-scheduled because my flight won’t get me in with time enough to get there.  I’m scheduled to do the Mo’nique show on the 26th fortunately I’ll be able to keep that as long as everything goes as planned.

What went through your mind when you heard that you wouldn’t be able to leave (your first thought)?

The first thing that went thru my mind when I knew for sure that my flight was cancelled, was that I had to get on the phone with my travel people and my manager to make sure I was rebooked on another flight and also to contact who ever needed to be contacted if there was any work that was going to be affected.  Once that was dealt with, I had to get myself in the mindset of patience.  Years ago I read something that said “You must learn how to deal with circumstances, rather then let circumstances deal with you”.  In other words, there are some things that you just can’t do anything about…and this was one of those times.  So, it’s all about praying and chilling and letting things work themselves out.

One thing we did think about was trying to hook up an impromptu performance and call it the “Volcanic Panic Concert” with all the musicians that are stuck over here … just show your airline ticket and you get in free!!!  That would’ve been fun…!

Have you ever been through anything like this before?

When I was around 21-22 years old, I was with a show group called Beverly Hills…we did top forty material, and we traveled all over Europe, Asia and Scandinavia for about a year and a half … we were finally going home departing out of London, Heathrow Airport, when the French air traffic controllers went on strike, closing down all air travel across Europe and the UK for about four days!  I spent a couple of nights at the airport … but then you’re so young…everythings an adventure right!!???

Present day Shalamar: Howard Hewett Carolyn Griffey & Jeffrey Daniel