Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Still want my horse

Marie comes in accompanied by many associates, friends, partners. I give them the full tour and ideas are soon flowing free. At the least, we’ve got Glen’s night of new readings coming up. Based on experience, I am always some combination of excited and sceptical when someone  comes in with seemingly boundless energy and a sense of “calling” to do great works to make everything here right. Been there. And there’s usually a painful conclusion waiting. But I’m always open to try one more time. 
RL comes in with a progress report on what his crew has been up to. And ready for s break before opne mic time.
Stepping outside, it’s mid afternoon. I see one of the Barney Greengrass crew coming up the street with an armload of Starbucks take out. Uh...I say.
Look, he responds, in the morning, our coffee’s just fine. But by mid afternoon, i need a break. We all need a break..I nod, say I got it. 
Karen’s music is filling the sanctuary again.
The mumbling man walks in. Danielle goes to to speak to him. Soon enough, he’s on his way. Never seems to come through that when we say we have no money, we have no money.
Soon enough it’s time for Open Mic. What will tonight’s surprises be? Mandola Joe still has his arm in a sling. Another night of a capella for him. Jamie arrives with Don. I’m glad to see them here. Her son Max is tending bar tonight.
The night opens with an old friend of RL’s (Joel?) doing a beat monologue with echoes of Lord Buckley.
victoire overkampf

                                                Danny Kalb "Shake Sugaree"

For my set, I do a new one, an old one, and finish with Libby Cotton’s Shake Sugaree. ( I learned it from Danny KalB(.\, the Grateful Dead held down the west coast, the Blues Project worked the east. Then Danny disappeared for about 40 years. A couple of years ago, I heard him in an afternoon concert. The sun was setting. He told his story.  After a short burst of fame, decades of wandering, addictions, homelessness. As I heard him sing everything I had is done and gone, I realized that he had truly become what he wanted to be 40 years ago, namely an old blues man. So I sang that song, aware of how much of it was mine. 

                                                     Victoire Overkampf

First surprise, Victoire Oberkampf from France. Just in from Paris. With songs in French and English, she wins us over. She and her friend are on their way to Burning Man. ( ( 

                                                                         Blake Pfeil

And then, right when we are ready to close, in walks another guy, Blake Pfeil.
Blake Pfeil
( sits at the piano, Andrea’s Mom’s piano, the piano Micah learned on, and plays his Broadway/cabaret style of original music. Jamie pens up her phone to share the music with Don, our very own Broadway guy. He so captivates us that after his third song we invite him to keep going.  We talk. he’s a legitimate theatre actor. Just finished New Jersey Shakespeare. Hoping he’ll come back. Bring friends.   
Jamie and I go up to RL”s studio. Soon joined by Nancy.Typically wide ranging conversation including silk worms and raw silk fabrics. And where and how that raw silk comes from. We talk about the original deed Danielle and i found today in the safety deposit box. The prohibitions section. What we couldn’t do  here. All in magnificent late 19th century cursive. No breweries. Or distilleries. Or soap manufacture. or candle making, tanning or nail manufacture. Or steam engines. Or slaughterhouse or keeping of cows or pigs. Or livery stable. Except for one space for the pastor’s horse. As Nancy points out, not a description of what was, but a catalogue of fears of what could be in a sleepy rural neighborhood. 
When we go outside, we encounter our stowaway. He’s desperate to stay. Just a few more days. I say No. Jamie takes over, describes reality as it is. My stomach hurts,but I don’t yield. Getting him a permanent place with whatever help he needs, that is the focus. 
I still hurt when everyone leaves. I still want a horse. 

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