The Winds of Change……#130… (70’s)

.   Gary finding the stability of his music at the Pirates Cove reflecting in his home life,  a Sunday night at the Winchester Drive-in,  spending an early Saturday afternoon at Twilight Beach, located at Northwest 50th and North MacArthur Blvd.     Gary recalling a Friday Night Ritual during his childhood and not having to sit at the dining room table.  Kaye and Gary having a similar Friday Night Ritual, it was called Cattlemen’s Café.

.   Cattlemen’s  being located in an area referred by those in Oklahoma City as Packing-town,  located on South Agnew,  a short distance from the North Canadian river.  Packing-town was home to the Oklahoma City stockyards,  and home to the Armour and Wilson and company meat packing companies,   processing over 900,000 head of cattle a year.

.   Gary would order Breaded Veal Cutlets, Cattlemen’s one of the few restaurants that served real milk-fed calf veal, his wife Kaye,  a Small Filet and Scott having what he determined was Lobster, in reality,  Louisiana Crayfish Tails,  and little Marlo still partaking of a Gerber cuisine at home with Grandma.   Another favorite was Kearns Dairy,  and with a Chinese restaurant opening on South May and 44th,  they found their Chinese take home dinner for one could feed all the family.  Gary was no stranger to the kitchen,  since he worked nights, Kaye working days, she had no business coming home having to prepare supper.  Gary becoming a follower of Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet chef,  duplicating many of his gourmet dishes including selections of his recommended imported wines

.   The Holiday Inn West was again expanding, the construction of one and two bedroom apartments at the far west end of the complex,  enabling long term rental for FAA air traffic and flight instructor students who required extended lodging for the duration of their studies and certification.  Gary acquainting a manifold of these FAA participants, on occasions extending an invitation for his acquaintances to join him and Kaye to watch the NFL or AFL Sunday afternoons games.  Joe Nardi was an affable traffic controller from the confines of New York City,  Gary enjoying the Big Apple raised Italian and his correlations and humor, relating the differences between the cities.  Pointing out in agreement,  that in Oklahoma City a tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel.   The cultivation of acquaintances at the Cove was an educational addition, able to visit with a geographic diversity of interesting people.

.   Gary discovering other interesting idiocies from his acquaintances of FAA employees.  Bill Ardees,  a FAA Certified Flight Instructor was a nightly visitor to the Cove.    Bill inviting Gary to tour the differentiating flight capabilities of the Aeronautical Agency flight line aircraft.  Gary was impressed with Sabreliners,  Lear Jets, the evolving  Gulf Stream and other privately owned aircraft, the owners being subsidized by the federal governments lease program for their use. Bill inquiring if Gary would like to join him on instructor flight as an observer.  Gary questioning if it was permissible for him to be aboard during an official certification.   Bill stating, he would be in the left seat, the provisional captain and  was the only one allowed to invite guest

.   The musician deciding to inquire about the invitation to fly as an observer,  but discovering the flight session would include an high altitude inclination,  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, but when confronted with what would transpire, deciding to make an excuse for declining the invitation,  not revealing  the words free-fall was the deciding factor.

.   Jan Lawhon’s return finding an appended avidity had transpired at the Pirates Cove,   Jan no longer compelled as a drummer on the bandstand,  able to step down and socialize.   Jim Hayes, whom Gary had procured,  was recognized as an accomplished creative percussionist fulfilling that dexterity. It was no surprise,  Alto saxophonist Bob giving notice, deciding it was time to move on,  likable Bob having a boisterous tendency,  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 about a guitar player,    Woods relating 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 attuned to rhythm than lead, but with Jerry Willis still playing lead guitar on Friday and Saturday nights,  everything worked.   Jan’s vocalist tenure was enduring,  but her stature having dramatically changed since enrolling in law school at OU,  Gary suspected that her and Len Cason had gone their separate ways, and there were rumors of a relationship with club owner Herbie.  The relationship rumors were never substantiated,  but when visiting with her on the phone,  Jan was interrupted with someone at her apartment door, returning,  saying it was Wanda,  Herbs wife,  demanding some of Herbs things she thought he had left.   Gary could also tell her law school enrollment 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 she could continue part-time if someone could be found.

.   Word filtered out about Jan situation, and it wasn’t long before Gary received a call to meet a young lady of interest. Her name was Samantha Ketchum,  but astutely anointed as  ‘Sami K’,   heralding from Velma-Alma,  a community southeast of Duncan in southern Oklahoma.   Sami having arose as an active participant in her hometown local musical scene, acclaiming a well-received  status,  then deciding to  venture to Oklahoma City in hopes of furthering her music ambition.  Gary was astounded at this amazing talent, her lyrical inventory was somewhat abridged,  unlike the unlimited one of Jan’s,  but her presentation was a complete transition from Jan’s strictly vocalization.

.   Her affluence extending to the realm of the audience,  with a forty foot cord and mike in hand, 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,  and Karen Carpenter ,  her ambition was relevant,  the beguiled personalities striking appearance and opulence provided a new avidity to the carriage of the Cove.  Gary satisfied that they had found the enboldment to fill in for Jan on her nights off.  Sami providing a rebounding enlightenment and an immediate following.

.   Gary soon realized the hand writing was on the wall,  recognizing the winds of change, the incomparable Jan Lawhon having conveyed her meaningful talent for more than two years, bidding a farewell to the Pirates Cove.

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