A Perception Of Stature……#128 (the 60’s)

The Holiday Inn West Pirates Cove club afforded many introduction to heterogeneous celebrities,  whether their attendance was the results of an extended business engagement or a halt in a traveling excursion.  Gary found the clubs accessibility to the airport and the nightly esteemed artistically talents of Jan Lawhon  were both contributing factors for visitors enduring the contemporary Inn.


 A group of industrial engineers with pyrotechnic expertise having assembled and were staying at the Inn, another  Canton Oklahoma oil well fire almost mirroring the 1965 fire having continued for days and was allotted national headlines.  Several capping and  extinguishing attempts ending in failure, the group anticipating the arrival of a renown acknowledged specialist,  a pivotal person for  compliance.  Gary cognizant of the currently newsworthy events,  aware of the reason for the accumulated congregation  and had captured an interest and definitive curiosity about the expected arrival of the  luminary.


The musician having witnessed the John Wayne epic movie  ‘ The Hellfighters’   and for some reasons having expectations  of a  6′ 4”,  cover-all,  hard hat,  oil slicked face leader of the oil-fire containment crew accessing the entryway of the Pirates Cove  to address the waiting group.  The luminary finally having arrived,  Gary witnessing a man of fifty plus years,  his faced weathered,  his once red hair now graying,   his physical presence no resemblance to the tall iconic John Wayne,  but the reputation of Paul  ‘Red’  Adair was statuesque and his ability iconic in the performance of his profession.  With Red and his crews arrival, the uncontrollable cataclysm was soon govern.


Gary having discovered  that calling upon visiting celebrities to come forward and perform  was somewhat futile,  the evasive reasoning was invariably,  “their contract wouldn’t permit it”.   Taking notice one night he immediately recognized  one of the two patrons having  just entered the club and during the  intermission break approached a now prodigious celebrity.   Gary and the Untouchables having backed this artist six years earlier at the Bamboo Club in Enid Oklahoma  a time when Roy Clark was somewhat unknown, having just experienced his first hit record.

The pianist introducing himself not sure if Roy would remember him, questioning the celebrity  if he remembered playing the Bamboo Club in Enid after his release of the ‘Tips of my fingers’, the good nature Roy with a smile responding, “who could forget the Bamboo Club”.   Gary followed up with another question,  “would he be willing to sit in?”  Roy responding that he didn’t have a guitar with him.   Gary acquiring a smile,  knowing that Jerry Willis’s  Fender Telecaster was reclining in the secure liquor storage room for Jerry’s Friday and Saturday night appearance.  Gary briefly leaving then returning, the six string fixture in hand, the guest entertainer acknowledge the telecast presence,  saying he would be happy to applaud the patrons, but  would desire some time to visit with his friend and put a dent in the bottle of scotch they brought in.

Gary and Jan returning giving Roy time to relax, Gary finally asking Reba, Roy’s waitress to ask if he was ready.  Gary acknowledging that Roy would perform,  announcing the presence of a guest and would everyone welcome Roy Clark. The country idol rendering  a thirty minute presentation, it was amazing after completing several musical exaltation,  the club capacity ventured from exiguous to  ‘standing room only’,

Gary wondering where did all these people materialize from, and concluded that Red Adair and Roy Clark have a common thread,  the perception of their stature is validated by the professionalism of their performance.


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