Awaiting Opportunity – #120A….(60’s)

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Saying goodbye to the Dugout Club was without fanfare, Gary deciding to take a breather before checking the piano bar opportunities.  An evening found, Helen, Gary’s mother in-law mentioning if she could ask a favor, inquiring if he would drive her to Houston to retrieve her 58 Oldsmobile Fiesta Wagon.  Helen having purchased and loaned it to her ex-husband Frank Grider,  whom had returned to Oklahoma city to constitute a painting business. 

    Frank having dropped out of sight the past couple of weeks,  and Helen’s concern being answered with a call from the Houston Texas police department,  the Olds had been impounded.  Gary’s wife Kaye,  deciding her and young Scott would encompass Gary and Helen to the reaches of Houston.  The four leaving Oklahoma City,  traveling in  Gary’s 63 comet,  discovering the five hundred mile drive to be very arduous, but  with the completion of the all-day venture, the four welcoming the advent of Houston and its surroundings.

The evening stop, the four enrolling a motel room giving the travelers some needed rest.   The beginning of a new day, the family entertaining a luncheon tour of  Galveston,  the overcast wind-driven waters of the gulf preventing a very much desired stroll to feel the delicate sand and consume  the semblance of the gulf.   The afternoon finding Helen completing her transaction with law enforcement, a trip to the impound garage, her Olds being released, Gary electing to pilot the paroled 1958 Oldsmobile Station Wagon back to Oklahoma City, Kaye to drive the Comet.  Both cars to caravan the return  by way of Waco,  Helen desiring to have a fleeting look at a town bearing many memories.  

  Continuing on, with a stop in  Arlington to  reside the night with  Kaye provincial cousin, Gary still somewhat confused at the actual relationship,  as Helen was also an only child, the relative being Helen’s cousin’s daughter, Mary Ogier, unable to meet her husband Paul, a pilot for Delta Airlines  who was on a flight.  The morning found the convoy of two autos making application from Arlington to Interstate 35 and a welcomed return to Oklahoma City.  Gary’s only comment about the venture was. the world of family and relationships never-ceasing to amaze one.

After a brief time off, the pianist was ready resume his ambition, having giving some thought to a possible new endeavor.   Approach  piano bar virtuoso Jim Mullens,  about forming a twin piano presentation.  Gary having no difficulty finding Jim’s phone number, placing a call,  discovering he also resided in the southwest part of town, the two agreeing to meet.  Gary setting up his Wurlitzer and Amp at Jims residence,   and with Jim’s piano, the two auditioning each other’s talent, singularly and together.   The session completed, interesting considering the contrasting styles, Gary satisfied with “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” 

Gary deciding to make a call to the Sallee booking agency, Ruth communicated an overture received from a Holiday Inn representative, soliciting a Piano Bar entertainer for a series of engagements.  The bookings would entail 30 day engagements at subsequent Inn’s,  providing wages, lodging,  and discount meal privileges.  A further inquiry revealing it would commence  with the Holiday Inn at Chickasha,    a 45 minute drive on the H E Bailey Turnpike,  with the subsequent place of assurance at a  Holiday Inn in Harlingen Texas,  a venture of over eight hundred miles.   Gary finding the offer interesting but realized, extended travel was out of the question, but  tentatively accepting the agents offer,  having something else in mind.   The thirty days of commuting to Chickasha,  would provide an opportunity for the musician to search for a more applicable contingency in Oklahoma City.

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