Association Confirmed………………….#96 (the 60’s)

Jerry's 53 Ford

Jerry’s 53 Ford

     The Ford convertible,  jaded from its sprint of traversing mountainous palisades and decumbent plateaus,  enduring searing temperatures and component failure,  finally achieving a placard of recognition on Greenly Drive in Oakland California.  The itinerant musicians fulfilling a 2500 mile quest from Indiana to add a new chapter to a musical score entitled California.  Over a year having transpired since Gary’s last acquaintance with home, a fleeting of past reflections held captive,  recollections, the experiences of adventure, memories of youthful endeavour,  his boyhood home still commanding its residential station with its anointing of the past.
     Relieving the Ford of its melodious burden,  the three comrades would domicile in Gary’s old room the downstairs apartment with its private entrance, his parents welcoming Jerry and Glenn with an acceptance equating family.  The travelers ready for an intermezzo, a time to reflect and chronicle an itinerary with a survey of local entertainment facilities and an assessment of their employment possibilities.  An immediate difficulty being incurred, a major impediment, California being an organized union labor state.   To conference or audition for employment, a musician or musical group necessitated a major requirement, membership in the American Federation of Musicians, an affiliate of the AF of L,  the American Federation of Labor,  one of the strongest and largest unions in the nation.  Gary and Glenn finding upon closer examination,  all services,   including Bartenders,  Waitresses,  Delivery Services,  involving a public  entertainment facility in the San Francisco Bay Area embraced mandatory union membership.  An inquiry to AF of M,  Local #6 in San Francisco by the band discovered that union membership for non-resident including first quarter dues would equate to  $185.00 per member.   The Trio was taken aback with this precipitous cost-prohibitive disclosure, aspirations beginning to ebb,  with their diminishing funds a solution was not readily conceivable.

Gary's Aunt Loretta

Gary’s Aunt Loretta

    Perseverance,  resolution,  the young Californian was not without supposition, advancing a prospective solution,  a telephone call precluding a visit to San Francisco and the Steiner St. address of Gary’s Aunt Loretta.  The phone call to his Aunt enabling the nephew to present the bands predicament and the needed financing of their union membership with the promise of repayment if she could provide the capital.  Arriving in San Francisco Introductions were in order, Gary’s  Aunt as always very gracious, the visit was limited,  his generous Aunt Loretta counting six one hundred dollar bills, a sense of gratitude engulfing the young musicians.  Gary always believed his aunt Lori was special, now she was esteemed, the three extending their gratitude not so much for the monetary capital but for her confidence in their endeavor.

American Federation of Musicians Local 6 - San Francisco

American Federation of Musicians Local 6 – San Francisco

       The 53 Ford convertible once again burden with instruments parlaying across the scenic Bay Bridge, taking the ninth street exit,  entering the Tenderloin District of San Francisco achieving their destination at 230 Jones St., an edifice constructed in 1924 and home to the American Federation of  Musicians,  Local #6.   Entering the reception area of  the august building, finding two others prospective members seated,  the three inductees receiving application forms, upon completing the calligraphic aspects were asked to remain seated until called upon.  Gary noticing that one of the waiting individuals entered a large open accommodation room, removed a violin from its case and commenced to perform.   The second  seated person rising to another adjoining area, with sheet music in hand seated himself at the presiding  piano invoking the composition.   The union official approaching the remaining  group of three, cordially addressing them about retrieving their instruments from the car,  then questioning whether they  preferred to apply as a group or individuals.  The decision was forthwith, it would be a group effort, the three hastily setting up the instrument, the official observer remaining  present, the Untouchables rendering a version of Yellow Bird, an acknowledged new instrumental hit by Arthur Lyman.  The official nodding his approval, the association with the union was confirmed with their payment, the Untouchables were now card-carrying union members of San Francisco’s Local #6.

The Oakland - San Francisco Bay Bridge

The Oakland – San Francisco Bay Bridge

    Approaching the bay bridge,  the Untouchables in an animate mood, one of confidence and attainment, now possessing the credentials to prospect for fame and fortune in the world of California entertainment.   The convertible beginning its traverse across the top deck of the premier span, as in the past once again enabling the homespun musician the visual reflection of the surrounded aura.  Gary still questioned  if the others perceived the exoteric essence he experienced from the bridge, the ocean water of the pacific ebbing  beneath its laden steel structure baring witness to untold annual of history.  The return to Greenly Drive, the group now accredited  and licensing to venture into the land of musical opportunity researching the bay-area periodicals,  Glenn and Gary finding many  perpetuating entertainment established venues,  their prospective business hours and locations.   A decision being made to constrain their initial pursuance to the East-Bay rather than San Francisco, realizing they were strangers in a strange land but concluding that assertiveness cultivates discovery.


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