An Abhorrent Province…………#134 (the 70’s)

Welcome to the Province of Hypnosis

Welcome to the Province of Hypnosis

.   1972 found Gary experiencing his fourth year of tenure at the keyboard in the Pirates Cove Club, having to accept its  third enlargement,  the ambient  pianobar embodiment of the past just a remembrance.  The seating capacity now exceeding 160 patrons, and  exhibiting the addition of in-house restrooms,  no longer did one have to exit to the lobby to address the facility.  The pianist concluding the club expansion was a sign of the times, with the advent of quality entertainment at the recently constructed facilities on Meridian Avenue, and  the access to the I 40 Crosstown Expressway, assuring a larger provisional  local audience.

.   The Coves expansion provided for a much larger bandstand  in the southeast  corner away from the proximity of the entrance, and to customer sitting at the tables near the  bar.   The platform resembled a stage rather than a bandstand, more than adequate for a four piece band and vocalist Debbie Swisher Ferguson.  It wasn’t unusual during the  summer months for the weekend club attendance to drop off with locals finding other activities, the Ramada Inn having found a remedy by booking national name entertainment.  Cove owner, Herb Carpenter, after returning from Vegas having a project in mind.  Herbie having watched a casino  act with a hypnotist who hypnotize volunteers from the audience,  having them perform humorous antics to the delight of the onlookers during his two 45 minute shows.

.   Gary receiving a call at home, Herb asking him to meet with Bob Valente,  the hypnotist who was to open his act at the club that night.  Gary arriving,  finding  his stage setting would require the placement of ten armless straightback chairs on the bandstand,  a microphone with an extended long cord.  Satisfied, the hypnotist initiated a special request, inquiring if the pianist could procure him a strobe light,  its use  would enable him to enhance the expediency of  hypnotizing  his subjects.   Gary having no idea where to purchase a strobe light. but the Radio Shack came to mind, and behold they had one.

.   The band playing their first set,  breaking,  the stage made ready, the act began with a request for audience participation, the volunteers to be seated on stage.   The Great Valente,  as his poster read,  his first show beginning at 10 each night,  but discovering a lack of participation from those in audience, a difficulty in securing ten volunteers to seat themselves on the improvise stage.  Gary concluding,  their first show response or lack of it, was probably due to  the number of drinks or lack of them.  On occasion, to accomplish a full complement of audience participation,  Gary would prod some of the club regulars,  and himself volunteering to access the subjection on stage.

.   The Hypnotist was very capacious in his ability, the Holiday-Inn dining room requesting him to lower the volume of his microphone when inducing his inaugural hypnotic suggestions,  as on one occasion,  a waitress’ in the adjoining restaurant could hear his commands, subject to his hypnotic voice,  finding herself seated, and in a deep sleep.  With great success,  he would proceed to induce hypnosis on the inductees,  having them perform antics of,   ‘feet on fire, or an inability to move,  and other habitation of mental and physical dexterity

Subjects seated for an entertaining Hyptonsis demonstration

Subjects seated for an entertaining hypnosis demonstration

.   It was at the start of a 12:15  show, Gary having finished setting up the chairs and microphone,  deciding to visit with a couple at their table, the three vigilant to the Great Valente’s performance.   Having been a subject more than once on stage, Gary was unaware that subconsciously, Bobs suggestive voice had been indelibly ensconced  on him.  Bob’s reigning voice commands,  for those on stage to enter into a relaxed hypnotic state, inadvertently was a conduit to the pianist seated with the couple,  and soon  joining those on stage in a relaxing hypnotic state.

.   An awakening from the experience, Gary sensing a numbness from his elbow to the tips of his fingers,  and was unable to move his fingers,  lift or straighten the wrist of his right hand.  His first reaction was one of expectation,  that the numbness would reside,  and the feeling of normalcy would return, but the affliction continued.  The pianist beginning to realize the seriousness of what had happened,  a brief conference with Bob, finding the hypnotist having no explanation.  The band deciding to call it a night, Gary again questioning the hypnotist if this had ever happened, the answer was no,   but asking Gary to accompany him,  the possibility of  another hypnotic session might reconcile the physical  situation, Gary following Bob to his room, but the attempt was to no avail.

.   Returning home, his right extremity still without feeling or mobility, not able to move his finger or lift his hand, hoping the morning would acknowledge it’s return.   The affliction and Gary’s concern continued, the musician addressing  his family physician, Doctor McDaniel that morning about the adversity,  relating  the unusual circumstances of events, the doctor without a definitive conclusion, but referring the pianist to a neurologist.  Gary awaiting his neurologist appointment,  deciding out of curiosity to visit a chiropractor, desiring a non-medical doctor’s opinion.  The chiropractor submitting Gary to electro stimuli treatment, to verifying the muscles were intact,  the generated wave of electricity able to move fingers and  rise the wrist,  the chiropractor was  in concurrence with his family practitioner,  an examination by a neurosurgeon was advanced.

.   Gary the subject of test by a specialist, this time a NCS and an EMG, basically a Nerve Conductive  and a electromyography.  The neurologist inserting a test lead fastened to a needle probe to the areas of the  right forearm,  and a receptor probe further down,  the nerve conductive and electromyography test, a somewhat painful procedure.  The NCS and EMG test would  determine the  detrimental damage to the nerves that processed the muscles of the fingers, hand and wrist.   The test completed, the pianist having three questions, the first was simple,  why couldn’t he lift his wrist or move his fingers, the doctor answer was brief, “you damaged the radial nerve that controls the wrist and fingers”.  His second being the cause of the damage, the Doctor providing  an explanation.

.   The relaxation of the muscles under hypnosis is paramount,  a forearm resting on the arm of the chair is dead weight,  the muscle and tissue surrounding the radial nerve under these conditions, would be totally relaxed and non-supportive,  the pressure of the arms weight, the sharpness of  the arm of the chair could cause  damage to the radial nerve that controls the extremity.  The third question was the important one,  what was the amount of time to heal and regain the use of his hand.   The Doctor was hesitant in answering,  “not having thoroughly examined the graphs,  but as for a prognosis of regaining it use,   weeks , months,  years,  maybe never”.

.   The suddenness of the occurrence,  the realization  finally setting in, his ambition and livelihood coming to an abrupt halt,  but still not willing  to accept a disability of circumstance.  Herb Carpenter, the club owner offering to help,  relating that the club has insurance if Gary wished  to file a claim.  Gary declining Herbie’s offer,  accepting responsibility for his actions,  mentioning, it was the result of sitting in the wrong type of chair, and why Valente used armless straight back chairs.  Gary realizing his  loss of his wrist and hand appendage was an abhorrent province to acknowledge, but not a final consummation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: