Monday, March 12, 2012

At The Jazz Club II

The New Look
We weren't able to meet last month. The Kinghts of Columbus told us they were going to re-finish the dance floor. They didn't bother to add that they were replacing all of the doors with new ones with glass panels so that now we can see if we're going to cream someone if the door is opened. There are three big, new windows in the bar, overlookiing the meeting room. All of the walls and the ceiling were painted in a mushroom hue that makes the space look bigger. Four new art deco lights have been installed in the ceiling. It's now all very spiffy and a cynical mind has to wonder if they raised the rent on the poor old jazz club.

However, the Knights weren't very knightly about the ladies restroom. One toilet was on the verge of flooding the place; another had flooded. I told the bartender why I was asking for an Out of Order sign and he hastily made one, handed it and a roll of Scotch tape to me. Ooooh! Anoter item for my resume! "Ladies Room Attendant." I later came back, found a wet mop leaning across the doorway, barring entrance and a shiny, wet least I wasn't handed a mop and bucket.

Music Keeps You Young!
We'd just gotten out of the car in the parking lot when we were hailed by a fellow music lover. "Are you going to the music?" (Yes) "I haven't been for a couple of months - had a heart attack last December and was in and out of the hospital three times!" We looked at him. Older, slim, straight-spined and said the obvious, "Gee, you'd never know it!"

We lost track of him once inside, but later Richie ran into him in the bar. When Richie came back to our table, he said, "How old do you think that guy is?" and I thought for a moment and said, "Oh, maybe mid-70s." Richie almost yelled, "He's 93! And look back there - he's dancing!" Sure enough, he and the club secretary were doing a brisk 4-stepper by the raffle table.

Musicians Have Tempers, Too!
A pick-up band of the various local musicians was thumping away when we arrived. I waved to our friend Mr. Tucker on cornet and he nodded "Hello" back at me. When their allotted time ended, Mr. Tucker came over to say it in person. He had just begun an apology about his playing when the clarinet guy, gear already packed and in hand, came storming up to us and said to Mr. Tucker, "I just wanted to say that wasn't your fault! It was that damned piano player! I'll never play with that son-of-a-bitch again!" He then lowered his voice and the two of them went on conversing. Who knew clarinetists had such passion?!

And truth be told, the piano player is a touch on the weird side. Maybe 5 ft. tall and close to 200+ pounds, he looks like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day float - with little teeny feet. I waqs writing these notes at the table when he wordlessly came up and shoved a white paper napkin under my nose. It said, "This is a portrait of a snowflake on a bed of snow." The paper was blank within the "frame" he'd drawn. I smiled poitely and kept on writing. A previous experience taught me never to engage in conversation with him. A chance remark had set him off into a half hour's dissertation on an altar cloth his great aunt had made for St. Patricks cathedral, NY and .... trust me, you don't want to hear any more than that and I don't want to remember any more than that!

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