Silent disapproval………#142 (the 70’s)

The Penn Apartments

The Penn Apartments

.  Gary’s first impression of Jan’s parents was one of apprehension, considering the situation, outwardly they displayed a politeness that could be considered typical of parents when introduced to a friend of  their daughters, but beneath the surface, he suspected a cloistered disdain because of his circumstances and his involvement with her.  To him,  the Murrow’s assessment of the musician seemed  more of a reaction to Jan’s past discretionary prose.  Gary surmising that the retrospection of their daughters two prior marriages may have had something to do with their sentiment.

.  Jan’s first marriage, the groom having just fulfilled his naval service military obligation,  the marriage inaugurated,  but abruptly ended with him according an annulment.  Her second and recent marriage was to a wannabe biker, whom she soon discovered was prone to physical abuse, resulting with her filing for  divorce.  Helen,  Jan’s mother,  openly displaying a concern about her daughter’s undertaking a move to Oklahoma City, but for some reason ignoring Gary’s marital status or questioning a concern about his intentions,  just a silent amplification of disapproval.

.  Jan arrived in Oklahoma City with her poodle Mitzi having decided to discount the wishes of her parents,  and with her arrival the clouds of uncertainty all but disappeared in Gary’s world, but at the same time realizing a new financial burden.  Gary deciding to approach the Penn Apartment management concerning their rent, having discovered  the waiting period he experienced before moving into his apartment, was cause by the unavailability of a painting contractor to ready the apartments for rental.  Seizing on this information,  he informed the manager that he was an experienced painter, and that in exchange for his apartment rent,  he would be on call to paint all vacancies on a ‘as needed basis’  with no per diem charge.

.  The lady  manager was more than susceptible to idea of no longer having to delay a rental because of a contractors schedule,  but would have to get an approval from corporate.  Gary soon receiving word,  corporate giving its approval and his apartment and utilities were now considered complementary.  Jan deciding it was time to look for work,  but was having a difficult time finding employment,  applying ,  being turned down  at 7 11  for being truthful on her application about having smoked pot, but her perseverance paid off,  accepting a nighttime position  at a packaged sandwich endeavor, which supplied their product to 7 11’s and other small convenient stores.

The ventured new life finding the bands Bob Wallace retaining an apartment in the Penn Complex with his steady girlfriend Vicki,  who was expecting, Gary suspecting it was the reason for Bob to mellow from his normal lifestyle. The vocalist providing a daily acquaintance,  establishing a new perspective to Gary’s outlook,  discovering that he shared nothing in common with Bob except music.  Bob was a pot smoker, Gary having been exposed to it as an occupational hazard years ago,  and admittedly having tried it,  but came to discover that after smoking pot,  a five-minute song seemed to last ten minutes,  so he never indulged again,  and like his closes friends Jerry and Glenn,  the only cigarettes they smoked cost 35 cents and came out of a machine.  The local bookings were scares, the 70’s having brought a change to the club activity of Oklahoma City, the musician surmised the boom days of  the clubs, like the top 40 music stations on radio,  were fast becoming a memory.

.  Gary lay prone beneath the 1966 Ford pickup in the Penn Apartment parking area,   removing the  starter during the thunderstorm induced deluge hoping that new brushes  would reconstruct its performing appointment.   Once removed, the dissembling completed, the rotor and armature looking satisfactory, but the brushes appeared worn to the point of almost  nonexistent, a glance at his watch telling him that  the temporal clock was evicting a halt to the starters final recovery.  It was 90 miles to Clinton,  and for the band to start on time they needed to get started.  Jerry Willis arriving, both knowing there was no way the band equipment would fit in his car, the excursion would have to be made in Gary’s Pickup as is.  The slope of the driveway onto Southwest 36th providing just enough roll for Gary to pop the clutch, the motor turning over.

.  The rain having receded in Oklahoma City,  but resumed again when traversing west on interstate 40,  the plastic visqueen covering the instruments loosening,  but still provided ample protection.   Arriving at their destination with no choice but to  leave the Pickups  running while they unloaded the instruments.   Gary having some concern about getting it started after the gig but luck intervened,  discovering a United Supermarket Store  two blocks away with a slightly slanted downhill parking area.  The only casualty during the trip because of the loosen visqueen,  was the Fender Rhodes,   a number of keys receiving moisture, when a single key was depressed it would be joined by another,  but as the night progressed individuality prevailed.  The night concluding *Ole Blue, Gary and Jerry finding an unassailable return to the City.

.  The band’s recently acquired young drummer Joey Marino’s first telephone call wasn’t too much of a concern, but the second registered an uncertainty, Joey on the line explaining,  he had loaned Bob his drums and now was unable to locate Wallace.  Gary following up with Joey’s call,  making some inquiries,  but like Joey,  unable to discover Bob’s whereabouts. It wasn’t very long  when he received a phone call.   “Coach”,   Bob never calling Gary by his first name,  always referring to him as Coach,  “I’m in California and don’t know when I’ll return”,  Gary somewhat taken back,  but the worst was yet to come,   the shocking news, Bob saying that he had hocked Joey’s drums in Albuquerque for gas money.  Now wasn’t the time to panic,  the band having several weekend Clinton club dates still remaining,  Gary needing a singer and a drummer.  Having heard that Kenny Kannada was still in town, driving for a tow-truck operator and possibly available, but the question was finding a drummer

.  A phone call to the Kelly Q’Ellar agency asking about a  drummer, Kelly surprising Gary, mentioning that his trio was not booked,  and although having never worked with Gary’s band he would play the Clinton engagements himself,  and with Kenny Cannada available, the Clinton engagement was cover, but uncertainty still reigned.  Without a full-time singer and drummer he didn’t have a band,  Gary somewhat hesitant about returning to a piano bar appearance.  In the past playing a piano bar was an option, but this time  with the current circumstances thrust upon him,  there might not be a choice.


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