Autarchical Destination………………..#117 (the 60’s)

Tornado beginning to form

Tornado beginning to form

The weather forecast was for severe thunderstorms,  but that was hastily updated to a tornado watch.   Most Oklahoma City residents were unconcerned as was Gary until the television weather interruption.   A cloud rotation and possible tornado was reported southwest of the Oklahoma International Airport by radar and observers reported it was tracking Northeast and about to enter Oklahoma City.   Apparently Gary wasn’t the only person ascertaining  the announcement, venturing outdoors, discovering several neighbors standing in their yards all attentively looking towards the southwest,  the presence of  greenish bellowing  thunderheads lighting up the sky, flashing an indelible warning and providing an audible rumble announcing their approach.  Below the upward ordained profusion, the omnibus horizontal layer indicating  a wall cloud.

Young Scott Willson

Young Scott Willson

Gary wasn’t alone,  his son Scott bracing the gusting wind, the three-year old standing by his side,  a sense of trepidation was beginning to evolve with the enveloping rush of the oncoming storm.   Vigilance prevailing,  the two on  continuance watch  for  a sign of a funnel,  but to no avail.   Gary and young Scott eyes fixed westward towards May Ave,  then a sudden gesture the wind gusting changing the elements,  scattering debris,  the crackling  popping sound of electrical discharge,  the whirling wind spreading  rubble  gathering  momentum.  Gary turning to assess his neighbors that have joined him to watch the display,  discovering they had vanished, returning to the security of indoors.  For an instant,  the turbulence paused,  the boy and his Dad standing alone,  a brief  hesitant  silence arresting the scene underscoring an aura of their solitude.   Taking Scott’s hand,  abandoning the  outdoor environment for the structured sanctuary of the house.  The aftermath of the brief storm was negligible,  the tornado fleetingly touching earth on its traverse across Oklahoma City,  the nearest damage assessment,  the sudden removal of a Diary Bar structure at 38th and S. May Ave,  a distance of eight blocks.

A  far more compelling and damaging storm was the one prevailing  within the  The Untouchables.   Gary having recognized the clouds on the horizon and understood their catechetical consequence,  the coming transpiration of Jerry Willis would be consummated without volition.  Jerry, the Untouchables accomplished guitar and sax mentor having succumbed to full-time employment with DEMCO (Drilling Equipment Manufacturing Company)  a prominent oil industry manufacturing complex as a machinist, and with this full-time commitment  could only avail himself for weekend engagements.   The second inconvenience and the most distressing, drummer Glenn Froman, Gary’s close’s friend and confident, the person who introduced the pianist to the music profession would be returning to Indiana.

Gary’s thoughts were collected, logic would reign,  prioritization would be in order,  consternation kept in check.  First things first, an inquiry to Del City Music’s proprietor, Bob Woods about the availabilities of drummers, Bob acknowledging he was aware of  a drummer named Dewey Moore looking for a job, having heard he was good but knowing him in name only.   A phone call, Gary arranging to meet Dewey at his trailer park residence in Midwest City.  On arrival Gary discovering the drummer had some forethought, having assembled his trap-set  for a percussion demonstration and his expertise would compliment the band, Gary taking notice of Dewey’s two large dogs, who wouldn’t compliment anyone.  The first engagement with the new drummer the was at the Officers Club at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, a two night engagement, the second night hosting an added feature,  a magician performing two thirty minute shows.   Dewey  introducing his wife Elayne, Gary confident he made the right decision in  hiring the Midwest City musician, his performance on the bandstand bearing witness.  the second obstacle to overcome still remained, a revision of the band schedule would have to be undertaken,  Jerry’s  availability limited to  weekends presented a major problem, either play only weekends or hire another guitar player.   The Pianist giving serious thought to third solution, one he had milled over before,  maybe it was time tailoring his piano from the bandstand, to a more congeal solitary format,  the piano bar.    Gary was hesitant, a decision to enter a new musical realm would be a major step,  the demanding exposition of a solo performer was a venue he had never experienced.

Uncomparable Chamberlin Rythmate

Incomparable Chamberlin Rhythmate,

It was  September and the Oklahoma State Fair had arrived, Gary approached the Hammond Organ display in the large exposition building,  behind the console of the mammoth circular keyboard was Larry Flowers,  Gary well acquainted with  the Hammond Organ franchise dealer.   The displayed Hammond Organ, it’s boisterous sound augmenting the building structure with its tonal ascendancy. Gary getting closer, noticing a familiar sound ,  the total rhythmic audio of a live  percussionist,  a drummer.   This was not the synthetic rhythm sound that normally accompanied an organ,  but the actual audio of a sideman, he could hear a snare,  a tom-tom, and bass drum,  high-hats and cymbals,  Gary was intrigued.  Larry volunteered,  pointing to what resembled a control box latched to  the side of the organ bench, explaining it was a Chamberlin Rhythmate,  providing continuous loop tape recordings of a live drummer.   Fourteen taped rhythms being performed, with three variations for each, a volume  and speed control producing the recordings, Latin,  Swing,  Shuffle,  Rock-n-roll,  Jazz,  the Waltz,  Two-step,  bushes and other rhythmic venues all-inclusive.  The discovery and exhibition of  the Chamberlin Rhythmate providing an insight to pianist admonition about the future and a possible solution to his dilemma.

The Untouchables playing their closing song, ‘That’s All’,  concluding their Weekend at the Broadway Club, in the basement expanse of the fourteen story Broadway Towers building on W. Main in Enid.     The band equipment packed into Gary’s car,  the Pianist and Jerry having agreed to retrieve Dewy who had journeyed to Enid with them, the Drummer saying he wanted accompanied a waitress to her apartment, asking them to pick him up on their way out-of-town.  Address in hand the two arriving at the apartment,  Gary announcing their arrival with a brief sounding of the horn, an expectation that the percussionist would appear, but after a waiting a reasonable time, the they decided to make an inquiry,  knocking on the door.   The door opening, both witnessing the waitress in a state of havoc, flustered and upset, screaming that Dewey made advances, forcing himself on her, physically attacking her.  Gary remained silent listening to the accusations and her exclamatory notice,  “that if he was ever in her presence again either here or at work,  she would notify the police and press charges”.  Upon leaving the scene, Gary was perplexed, the drummer was silent about the accusations and with the waitress’ indictment, the band scheduled to play the following weekend,  Gary was left with no other alternative but to inform  Dewey George Moore  his services would no longer be needed.

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