Perceptive Stature……………………#128 (the 60’s)

John Wayne and the real Red Adair

John Wayne and the real Red Adair

The Holiday Inn West Pirates Cove club afforded many introduction to heterogeneous celebrities,  whether their attendance was the results of an extended business engagement or a halt in a traveling excursion.  Gary found the accessibility to the airport and the nightly adonic artistically talents of Jan Lawhon  were both contributing factors for visitors enduring the contemporary Inn.   A group of industrial engineers with pyrotechnic expertise having assembled and were staying at the Inn,  the Canton oil well fire having continued for days and was allotted national headlines.  Several capping and  extinguishing attempts ending in failure, the group anticipating the arrival of the acknowledged specialist,  a pivotal person for  compliance.  Gary cognizant of the currently newsworthy events,  aware of the reason for the accumulated congregation  and had captured an interest and definitive curiosity about the expected arrival of the  luminary.

The musician having witnessed the John Wayne epic movie  ‘ The Hellfighters’   and for some reasons having expectations  of a  6′ 4”,  cover-all,  hard hat,  oil slicked face leader of the oil-fire containment crew accessing the entryway of the Pirates Cove  to address the waiting group.  The luminary finally having arrived,  Gary witnessing a man of fifty plus years,  his faced weathered,  his once red hair now graying,   his physical presence no resemblance to the tall iconic John Wayne,  but the reputation of Paul  ‘Red’  Adair was statuesque and his ability iconic in the performance of his profession.

Roy Clark remembering the Bamboo Club

Roy Clark remembering the Bamboo Club

Gary having discovered  that inviting visiting celebrities to perform for the audiences was sometimes futile,  the evasive reason being was invariably,  “their contract wouldn’t permit it”.   Taking notice one night the musician immediately recognized  one of the two patrons having  just entered the club and during the  intermission break approached the prodigious celebrity.   Gary and the band having backed this artist six years earlier at the Bamboo Club in Enid,  a time when Roy Clark was somewhat unknown, having just experienced his first hit record.   The pianist introducing himself not sure if Roy would remember him, questioning the celebrity  if he remembered playing the Bamboo Club in Enid after his release of the ‘Tips of my fingers’, the good nature Roy responding, “who could forget the Bamboo Club”.   Gary followed up with another question,  “would he be willing to sit in?”  Roy responding that he didn’t have a guitar with him.   Gary acquiring a smile,  knowing that Jerry Willis’s  Fender Telecaster was reclining in the locked storage room of the club waiting for Jerry’s  weekend appearance.  Gary returning, the six string fixture in hand, the guest entertainer acknowledge the telecast presence and saying he would be happy to applaud the patrons,  but first would desire some time visit with his friend and to consume a quantity of liquid known as Scotch.

Gary and Jan returning giving Roy time to relax, finally asking Reba, Roy’s waitress to ask if he was ready,  Gary announcing the presence of a guest and would they welcome Roy Clark.  It was amazing after completing several musical exaltation,  the club capacity ventured from exiguous to  ‘standing room only’,  Gary wondering where did all these people materialize from.   The country idol rendering  a thirty minute presentation before returning to his table.  Gary concluding that Red Adair and Roy Clark have a common thread,  the perception of their stature is validated, by the professionalism of their performance.


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