The strangest thing happened to me last night at dinner. I'm in Oakland, California, spending a few days with my childhood friend Maggie. On Monday I had lunch with two of my musician buddies, Chris Siebert and Marcus Shelby. Chris brought a couple of his pianist pals. Lunch was three hours of music talk, anecdotes and copious laughter.
Then I went to play tennis with Maggie at her club. They play doubles there. I'm strictly a singles guy (in more ways than tennis). I found the experience challenging. It's still see-the-ball-and-hit-it, but there are all these extra bodies moving around—very distracting. I got better the second set.
If you know me, you know that I have this crazy memory. I remember all kinds of stories and details from long ago. I used to know hundreds, maybe even thousands of jazz pieces where I could sing all the parts from beginning to end. Now, sadly, I look at some titles and draw a blank.
Last night Maggie and I had dinner with two of our former classmates. It was even more fun than I thought it would be. We talked about our teachers and other classmates who weren't there to defend themselves. About halfway through dinner a story came up about how in 4th grade, four kids, of whose names only three could be remembered, broke into our elementary school.
One kid put a small stone in between the door and the jamb on Friday and then all four came back on Saturday when the school was empty. All of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was there. I was juvenile delinquent #4. We walked down the ramp to the music room and opened the door. I remember running down the empty halls that Saturday afternoon. We played a few harmless pranks like moving pencils from one desk to another, and then we left without being caught.
It seems that one of the criminals confessed and named two confederates who then had to deal with the principal and their parents. I don't remember being punished, so I guess they didn't turn me in. What's so interesting about this story is that I'd completely forgotten it. But as soon as it came up in conversation, there it was like a movie with every little detail.
Who can explain why we kids did such a thing? We weren’t bad kids at all. It was some kind of Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn mischief—just a harmless prank. There was no point to it, but I guess it just seemed like a good idea at the time to a bunch of 10-year olds.
The following year Maggie and I were in the same class with our favorite teacher where Maggie and I edited the class newspaper. One day I was sent to the principal’s office for writing a humorous short story in what I thought was Southern dialect. I nervously sat on the bench outside Mr. Wilson’s office. Finally, he opened the door and called me in. He told me that he read my story and loved it. Go figure. I thought I was in trouble, but it turned out to be the opposite. Life is full of surprises.
That was a magical year where I was introduced to poetry. What I mean is I had my first experience being moved by poetry when Mr. Lurie read us Richard Cory.
BY EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
When Mr. Lurie said, "And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head,” it sent shivers up my spine.
Wow! In one sentence I became aware that even though someone seems to have everything going for him or her, they could still be desperately unhappy. Also we can think we know people and not really know them at all. It's such a short poem, and yet it packs a wallop kinda like Ellington's 3-minute recordings, only shorter.
I'm fascinated by brevity. If I can say it in 3-4 minutes, why go on? I'm reading The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison. The book is 1000 pages, but many of the letters are only a single page. If you haven't read his Invisible Man, run, don't walk to your nearest library. Unfortunately, Ralph never finished his second novel, Juneteenth, but he wrote some wonderful short stories and essays, many of which are about jazz.
I met Ralph about 30 years ago. He told me that he had originally set out to be a jazz trumpet player. I asked him what changed his mind. He said that when he heard Louis Armstrong, he realized that he lacked the musical talent to be great, and he needed to be great.
Reading his early letters, I can see his determination and hard work. He was never going to let poverty and racism beat him. His goal was to get to New York and write the great American novel. Mission accomplished.
It's not just what he says, it's how he says it. He's definitely in the pantheon of American writers. He may not have written as much as Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, or Twain, but he captures the American experience like no one else.
I'm not sure greatness has to include records, awards and longevity. The three greatest pitchers I ever saw hurl a baseball were Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax and Dwight Gooden. Ryan is the undisputed king, but both Koufax, whose career was shorted by arthritis, and Gooden, whose career was destroyed by drugs, had a few seasons of as-good-as-it-gets and were beyond thrilling. That has to count for something.
Raymond Chandler's seven short Philip Marlowe detective novels are in the same boat. Like jazz—they’re not symphonies; they’re not pretentious. It's lowly pulp fiction, but Chandler’s writing transcends the medium.
It took jazz decades to gain ivory-tower respect. I'm not so sure that is a good thing. You can try too hard to be an artist. I think it works best if you just put one foot in front of the other and do what you do. What makes art great is not the veneer but what's on the inside and how it all fits together to tell a unique, truthful, deeply personal, but universal story. You can't force it.
Some people just have a natural curve ball (Uncle Charlie), and then there was Gooden’s Lord Charles. It's been over 30 years and baseball announcers still make the comparison to Doc. He'll never be in the Hall of Fame, but he's in my Hall of Fame. Greatness is undeniable. It's love at first sight. I've forgotten a lot of things in my old age, but never love at first sight.
つぐぉゅずとめつゎぱ 포텐슬롯주소 https://Instagrme.net MGM카지노 우리카지노 바카라잘하는법 바카라사이트 룰렛게임 온라인바카라 안전카지노사이트 온라인바카라 빅카지노 바카라승률 더킹카지노먹튀 https://Instagrme.net 바카라이기는법 카지노사이트 카심바슬롯 포텐슬롯 온라인도박사이트 샌즈카지노 카심바코리아 카심바슬롯 카지노사이트주소 바카라시스템배팅 카지노룰렛 카지노추천 온라인카지노 슬롯머신777 오공슬롯먹튀 개츠비카지노 슬롯머신777 온라인카지노 온라인바카라 마카오카지노 얀카지노 바카라검증사이트 바카라전략 포텐슬롯주소 카심바코리아 https://Instagrme.net 바카라시스템배팅 바카라잘하는법 카지노슬롯머신 에볼루션게임 카지노검증사이트 개츠비카지노 바카라필승법 포텐슬롯주소 더나인카지노먹튀 카지노사이트 마닐라카지노 강원랜드다이사이 솔레어카지노 에그벳슬롯 실시간바카라사이트 포텐슬롯주소 생중계카지노 카심바슬롯스핀카지노먹튀 카심바카지노 비바카지노주소 타이산게이밍 포텐슬롯 바카라전략슈 더킹카지노 https://Instagrme.nethttps://Instagrme.net 코인카지노 우리카지노계열사 온라인카지노 온라인바카라게임 카지노게임 룰렛추천 비바카지노쿠폰 오공슬롯 카지노사이트추천 온라인슬롯추천 인터넷슬롯머신 온라인바카라 메이저바카라 탑슬롯먹튀 온라인바카라 카심바슬롯 맥스카지노주소 온라인바카라 온라인카지노 온라인카지노 게임플레이게이밍 https://Instagrme.net 포텐슬롯사이트 포텐슬롯사이트 바카라필승전략 해외슬롯사이트 mongoangulam998 포텐슬롯주소 바카라잘하는법 온라인카지노솔카지노 바카라검증사이트 우리카지노계열슬롯머신777 더존카지노 슬롯나라 인터넷바카라 빅카지노 온라인다이사이 카지노추천 세부카지노 크레이지슬롯먹튀 mongoangulam998 바카라사이트 슬롯나라주소 바카라게임사이트 포텐슬롯주소 https://Instagrme.net MGM카지노 온라인카지노 카지노사이트 카지노사이트 카지노주소 바카라전략 포텐슬롯 바카라사이트 생방송카지노 마이크로게이밍 비보게이밍 *0R 포텐슬롯 예스카지노 플레이슬롯 카지노사이트 온라인카지노슬롯머신 mongoangulam998 카지노검증사이트 포텐슬롯주소 https://Instagrme.net MGM카지노 트럼프카지노 카지노사이트 비바카지노 슬롯머신777 포텐슬롯주소 포텐슬롯 월드카지노 바카라사이트주소 FM카지노 카심바슬롯 포텐슬롯사이트 에볼루션게임 슬롯머신사이트 바카라사이트 카지노게임사이트 세부카지노 블랙잭사이트 메리트카지노 스핀슬롯 카지노사이트 きぶほぢじ 33카지노 포텐슬롯사이트 온라인바카라 온라인바카라 안전카지노 온라인바카라 식보게임 바카라검증사이트 슬롯머신777 でぞぅらおゐなひうわ
https://www.Instagrme.net/ – 맥스카지노,카지노사이트,온라인바카라,바카라사이트,인터넷카지노
https://Instagrme.net/ – 카지노주소
https://Instagrme.net/ – 바카라게임
https://Instagrme.net/ – 안전카지노
https://Instagrme.net/ – 카지노하는곳
https://Instagrme.net/ – 카지노추천
https://Instagrme.net/ – 비바카지노
https://Instagrme.net/ – 라이브카지노
https://Instagrme.net/ – 실시간카지노
https://Instagrme.net/ – 퀸즈슬롯
https://Instagrme.net/ – 온라인카지노
https://Instagrme.net/onlinebaccarat/ – 온라인바카라
https://Instagrme.net/mobilecasino/ – 모바일카지노
https://Instagrme.net/internetslotmachine/ – 인터넷슬롯머신
https://Instagrme.net/ourcasino/ – 우리카지노계열
https://Instagrme.net/baccarat-strategy/ – 바카라 전략
https://Instagrme.net/baccaratsite/ – 바카라사이트
David, that was very well written! You are a man of many talents.
Beautiful story. Very touching.
Nice. I’ve always felt that there are many great players who will never be
heard about outside of a small circle of friends.