A Kinetic Conveyance ……..#130 (the 70’s)

A Friday Night Ritual Cattlemen's Cafe

A Friday Night Ritual Cattlemen’s Café

Packingtown stockyards entrance.

Packingtown stockyards entrance.

Gary finding the  stability of his music at the Pirates Cove reflecting in his home life, not missing the  road  able to spend time with his wife and family.  A Sunday night at the  Winchester Drive-in tucked away on S. Western between SW 67th and SW 72nd or a Saturday  spending an early afternoon at Twilight Beach located at N.W. 50th. and N. MacArthur Blvd.    Gary recalling a Friday Night Ritual during his childhood having fish sticks and ravioli and not having to sit at the dinning room table, Kaye and Gary having a similar Friday Night Ritual, it was called Cattlemen’s Café.  Cattlemen’s Cafe being located in an area  referred to by those in Oklahoma City as Packingtown on S. Agnew a short distance from the North Canadian river.  Packingtown was home to the Oklahoma City stockyards and home to the Armour and Wilson & Co. meat packing companies processing over 900,000 head of cattle a year.  On a normal Friday night visit Gary would order Breaded Veal Cutlets, Cattlemen’s one of the few restaurants that served real milk-fed calf veal, his wife Kaye having a Small Filet and Scott having what he determined was Lobster,  but in reality it was Louisiana Crayfish Tails and  little Marlo still partaking of a Gerber cuisine at home with Grandma.   Another favorite was a take out opportunity  located four block from their SW 46th Terrace resident,  Kearns Dairy,  it being  the only drive-thru in the City that  provided Broasted Chicken.  Unlike regular fried chicken, Broasted Chicken was deep-fried, but in a pressure cooker, the couple calling their order in.  With a Chinese restaurant opening on S. May and SW 44th just four blocks distance,  they found their Chinese take home dinner for one could feed all the family.  Gary being the cook of the family preparing all the evening  meals, having decided since his wife worked all day she had no business coming home having to prepare super..  Gary becoming a follower of Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet chief,  duplicating many of his gourmet dishes including selections of imported wines, family life becoming  a reflection of song.

Cattlements Cafe - A Willson famiy favorite

Cattlemen’s Café – A Willson family favorite

The Holiday Inn West introducing a new concept of availability for the guest,  an expansion included apartments for the Mike Monroney FAA facilities air traffic and flight instructor students from throughout the nation.  Gary acquainting a manifold of these FFA participants, on many occasions extending an invitation to join him and Kaye on Sunday afternoons for the NFL or AFL game.  Joe Nardie,  an accomplished traffic controller from the confines of New York City,  relating his world experience, having many relatives in Italy,  answering the Italian question Gary always wanted to ask,  ‘does a workers lunch consist of a bottle of wine,  a chunk of bread, cheese and a slab of salami’,  Joe grinning,  answering a perception propagated from the arcades of the film industry,  the answer was yes,  but only in the rural areas.   The cultivation of acquaintances at the Cove was an educational addition, able to visit with a geographic diversity of interesting people .

Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center

Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center

Gary discovering other interesting idiocies being enhanced,  Bill Ardee,  a flight instructor registered with the FAA was a consistent visitor of the club inviting Gary to journey with him on instructor flights as an observer.  Bill stating, the left seat pilot was the provisional captain and was the only one allowed to invite guest aboard.  The Pirates Cove musician was taken with many of Bill’s aeronautical stories,  relating on one occasion during a certification,  a doctor piloting the craft was told to make some touch n’ go landings notifying the control tower of his intent.  Approaching  his first touch n’ go,  the craft in a slow decent when  an alarm began to sound, the controller in the tower  making several attempts to contact him.  The doctor finally shouting into the mic,  that he couldn’t understand the tower because of the loud alarm going off.   The controller finally getting thru, relaying,  ” The alarm is because you failed to lower your landing gear”  all the time Bill said he was total aware of the situation, but decided to let it play out just to see how it was handled.

A 1969 Sabreliner - an invitation to dwell at 40,000 ft.

A 1969 Sabreliner – an invitation to dwell at 40,000 ft.

The Aeronautical Agency aircraft included Sabreliner Lear Jets,  the evolving  Gulf Stream and other privately owned aircraft, the owners being subsidized by a lease program of federal government for their use.   Bill inviting Gary to tour the Oklahoma City FAA flightline of aircraft,  accessing the interior of  the aircraft and their differentiating  flight capabilities.   The musician deciding to inquire about the invitation to fly as an observer,  but discovering this flight session would include an inclination from  40,000 feet,  the aircraft to stall,  going into free-fall,  providing a determination of reaction time and the  pilot’s ability to correct it.   Gary desiring to experience a flight in the Sabreliner, but when confronted with what would transpire during the flight,  deciding to make an excuse for declining the invitation,  not revealing  the words free-fall was the deciding factor.

A returning Jan Lawhon

A returning Jan Lawhon

Jerry Connell

Jerry Connell

Jan Lawhon’s return finding an appended avidity transpiring at the Pirates Cove,  the vocalist no longer compelled as a drummer,  Jim Hayes, recognized as an accomplished creative percussionist fulfilling that dexterity.   The compliment of alto saxophonist Bob giving notice, deciding it was time to move on, exaggerating claims of a high paying management employment.  Jan providing a farewell party in his honor but soon word filtered back about his new employment,  having been seen working in a liquor store.  With Bob’s departure,  Gary placing a call to Bob Woods Music, Woods relating that he knew of someone looking for a full-time gig.  The new arrival was Jerry Connell an established Midwest City guitarist, Gary was impressed with Connell’s qualifications but found him more attune to rhythm than lead, but adequate and with Jerry Willis playing lead guitar and tenor sax on Friday and Saturday nights everything worked.   Jan’s vocalist tenure was enduring  but her stature having changed since enrolling in law school at OU, Gary suspected that her and Len Cason had gone their separate ways, with rumors of a relationship with club franchise owner Herb, which seemed to be substantiated when visiting with her on the phone, Jan being interrupted with someone at the door, saying it was Wanda, Herbs wife demanding some of Herbs clothes he had left.   Gary could also tell her return and the six night per week obligation was taking its toll,  a remedy was entertained,  Jan not wanting to just up and leave but thought it best if she could cut her nights back providing someone could be found to fill in on her nights off.

Sami "K"

Sami “K”

 Word filtered out Jan situation and it wasn’t long before a young lady  introduced herself.  Her name was Samantha Ketchum but astutely anointed as  ‘Sami K’ ,  she heralded from Velma-Alma Oklahoma,  a community north of Duncan in southern Oklahoma.   Sami having arose as an active participant in the  local musical scene in her home town, acclaiming a well received  status then deciding to  venture to Oklahoma City in hopes of furthering her music ambition.  She demonstrated her talent filling in for Jan,  her lyrical inventory was somewhat abridged unlike the unlimited one of Jan,  but her presentation was  different, a complete transition from Jan’s strictly vocalization.   Her affluence extending to the realm of the audience, with a microphone  and a 40 ft. cord she would venture off  stage constituting an up close personal reflection of her vocal ability and kinetic conveyance.  Possessing an unblemished three octave range from the likes of a Barbara Streisand,  Aretha Franklin to a Karen Carpenter, her ambition was relevant, the beguiled personality and opulence providing a new avidity to the carriage of the Cove.  Gary satisfied that they had  found an embolden replacement for the incomparable Jan.

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