A Celebrated Arrival………….#108 (the 60’s)

Never to young to start - Dorson Scott Willson

Never to young to start – Dorson Scott Willson

.  Expectation with the Untouchables coming to fruition and as the month of July arrived  another celebrated event would be coming to fruition, the Willson’s expecting an addition to the family.  On Saturday July 11 1963, giving a mother notification the celebrant arrived, Kaye giving birth to a 6 lb. 8oz. boy name after his great-grandfather Dorson Willson at Mercy Hospital. The couple agreeing on a middle name having taken notice of one of the seven mercury astronauts Scott Carpenter.  With the arrival of Gary’s mother having flown in from Oakland and Kaye’s mother Helen at the hospital, Scott the center of  the grandma’s attention.   On their way to the hospital they surviving a five-inch downpour and when exiting the Exchange Avenue bridge in the rain, Helen was unaware of  the standing high water the car coming to an abrupt halt.

Dads 56 Plymouth with its swamp cooler

Dads 56 Plymouth with its swamp cooler

Mom, Dad, baby Scott, Kaye & Gary

Mom, Dad, baby Scott, Kaye & Gary

kaye and scott

Mom and Scott at bath time..

.  Gary’s father and sister Nancy, having braved the July heat crossing the Mojave, Arizona, New Mexico and the humidity of Oklahoma to retrieved his mother.  His dad experimenting with a new novelty, a window swamp cooler for his 56 Plymouth but soon discovering that it was no match for the desert or the high plains southwest.  Gary’s family having departed and with Scott came a new realm of responsibility, the couple soon discovering the proximity Kaye’s Mother and Grandmother living just four doors away was  to a blessing.   With the  family expansion and Kaye’s return to work, Gary continuing to pursue his night-time musical ambitions, but finding it necessary to entertain a new daytime schedule to  accommodate the new commitment.   A learning experience was enhanced,  a 2:00 a.m rocking chair and bottle feeding when coming home from the club,  an early morning wake-up call, rising to fashioning twelve bottles of formula from condensed milk and corn syrup in a sterilized,  but drawing the line with washing diapers,  placing a call to  employ a scheduled diaper service.  Adjusting to life’s new atmosphere,  thankful for the willingness of Grandma Sarah to attend to Scott when needed, allowing Gary to pursue his avocation  and retain a measure of diversified activity.

The Righteous Brothers

The Righteous Brothers

The amphitheatre at Springlake

The amphitheatre at Springlake

.  A lull from the newly acquired road trips finding the The Untouchables engaged at  Gene’s Spa-Yen Club at the corner of S.E. 29th and Air Depot Blvd.  in Midwest City,  the crossroads ascertained as the northwest boundary of  the prestigious Tinker Air Force Base.   William Eugen Anthony’s  enterprising business was circuitous,  a private club, a  restaurant – bar and liquor store all  encompassing this paramount location.    Gary finding Gene and his  wife Ruby very affable and their business practice somewhat anomalous, the clubs distinctive clientele adhering to strict procedures and dress code. Non members desiring to secure club admittance were required to sign in as guest and a policy that all male customers entering after 8:00 p.m.were required to address a dress code that included a tie, which could be borrowed from an ample supply held in custody at the entrance.   During an evening performance, Gary became aware of an inquisitive person giving his Fender Rhoades #112 the once over.  During a fifteen minute break, the  person approached Gary, introducing himself as the pianist with the Righteous Brothers and that the touring recording artist would be performing tomorrows afternoon and evening  at the Spring Lake amphitheatre.   He related that after  arriving in Oklahoma City he called several  music stores in search of replacement reeds for his Wurlitzer electric piano,  only to discover none were available. but a person at the Hammond Organ Store mentioned that Gary had the only Wurlitzer electric in the City and that he was playing at the Spa Yen.  Gary having discovering long ago from experience, to keep a supply of the hard to find Wurlitzer replacement reeds. Without hesitation he offered and in exchange the Righteous Brothers pianist issued an invitation for Gary and his Wife to attend the matinée as his guest and a introduction to Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield.  The following afternoon, Gary and Kaye arrived at the amphitheatre,  Gary mentioning the situation at gate, the two waiting but apparently the pianist was too involved with the show to give Gary the promised recognition.  The couple  remained seated enjoying the show, Gary giving thought at its conclusion about approaching the pianist once more, but deciding  it wasn’t that important.

The bar at the exclusive Sportsman Country Club

The bar at the exclusive Sportsman Country Club

.  An unexpected phone call from Ruth Sallee Productions inquiring if the Untouchables would be available for a private engagement two weeks from Saturday at the Sportsman’s Country Club at  N.W. 39th and Meridian Ave.   Ruth then extended a question to Gary that had never before been imposed,  ”would you have problems playing a Gay function?”   Gary hesitated,  speaking for himself,  saying that “he didn’t having a problem with the clientele but would like to confer with the other member of the band”.  Gary never having been in the Sportsman’s Club asking about the facility. Ruth explaining,  the Sportsman’s Country Club was located on a large gated estate with on-ground parking and for this booking, off duty Oklahoma City Police officers would be present for security. Then adding,  payment would be made the following day by Robinson Janitorial Service, a downtown company that serviced high-rise business offices.
Gary placing calls to the other members of the band relating the  particulars of the engagement.  When they were explained  Glenn’s reaction was one of curiosity as was sax player Larry Burns.   Jerry never questioned or commented when told of a Gay booking.  Ruth was correct about the security,  an uniformed officer was at the entrance gate directing passage to the parking area  where another officer stood watch over the parking that was rapidly being consumed with luxurious Lincolns and Cadillac’s.   Upon entering,  the Untouchables finding the stage addressing a large dance floor and banquet area, the participants already beginning to encompass the ballroom.  Gary’s curiosity was fastened,  having faltered about groups such as this  but never acquiring an association.   Surveying the assembly,  discovering the men outnumbering the women,  four to one,  which for a dance wasn’t  unusual,  the well attired age grouping covering a wide spectrum,  giving an appearance of normalcy.   The first songs finding a listening audience,  but when the dancing commenced,  Gary immediately recognized something was amiss with guitar playing Jerry,  he seemed to be paralyzed,  his expression was one of perplexity,  trying to make sense of the scene before him,  the couples on the dance floor all dancing with like genders.   It was obvious,  Jerry failed to comprehend, it became apparent when  being informed he mistaken the meaning of the work Gay as denoting happy.  During an intermission,  Gary making the acquaintance of the custodian of the gay groups association, finding the steward and his wife participating only as administrators and organizers for the activities of the gay alliance.  It became very apparent that many prominent business celebrities were active member of this shadowed community.   The band concluding their engagement to a very divergent but appreciative audience,  discerning their first exposure to a new culture diversity and an experience of empathy.

 

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