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

A Friday Night Ritual

Packing-town 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  spending an early Saturday 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  being located in an area  referred by those in Oklahoma City as Packing-town located on S. 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 & 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 takeout 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 was no stranger to the kitchen, having been raised when necessary to tend for himself, coming to a decision, since he worked nights and his wife worked days 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  his recommended imported wines

Cattlements Cafe - A Willson famiy favorite

Cattlemen’s Café – A Willson family favorite

The Holiday Inn West once again was expanding, the construction of one and two bedroom apartments at 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 FFA participants, on many occasions extending an invitation for them to join him and Kaye and watch the NFL or AFL Sunday afternoons games.  Joe Nardi was a 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 .

Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center

Gary discovering other interesting idiocies from his acquaintances of FAA employees. Bill Ardees a FAA Flight Instructor called to Oklahoma City for certification duty was a nightly visitor to the Cove inviting Gary to journey with 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 he was the only one allowed to invite guest.  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.

1969 Sabreliner

The Aeronautical Agency aircraft included Sabreliner,  Lear Jets, and 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  over 30,000 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

Jerry Connell

Jan Lawhon’s return finding an appended avidity had transpired at the Pirates Cove,   Jan no longer compelled as a drummer,  Jim Hayes, who Gary had procured was recognized as an accomplished creative percussionist fulfilling that dexterity.  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, 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 dramatically changed since enrolling in law school at OU, Gary suspected because of his military commitment, her and Len Cason had gone their separate ways, and there were unsubstantiated rumors about her and Herb.   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 continued if someone could be found so she could have some nights off.

Sami “K”

 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’ ,  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.  Gary was astounded at this amazing talent, her lyrical inventory was somewhat abridged unlike the unlimited one of Jan,  but her presentation was 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 Lawhon.

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