Archive for October, 2016

The Winds of Change……#130… (70’s)

October 11, 2016

.   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.

Reproducing Lagomorphs………#131 (the 70’s)

October 10, 2016

Glenn’s latest – 1959 Cadillac Limo

The 1959 Cadillac limousine having returned to Oklahoma City,  its journey from Indiana in fruition,  its navigator, Gary’s friend and former band drummer,  the anomalous Glenn Froman.  Glenn wasn’t solitary in his arrival,  unbeknownst to Gary on his arrival, his sister Dorothy having accompanied the endeavoring percussionist,  and  visionary aspirant entrepreneur.  The Pianist dutifully still employed at the Pirates Cove Club in the Holiday Inn West six nights a week having little opportunity for acquiring his friend employment but remaining inquisitive to the drummers intuitionist disposition.  The pianist curiosity was soon satisfied,  Glenn and sister Dorothy were in search of a property location to initiate a concept  they were convinced would realm a profitable enumeration.

Glenn was a walking introductory to most postulates of inventiveness, never-failing to undertake something whether business or pleasure with enthusiasm.  Gary  never openly having professed a desire to collaborate in the pursuit of wild game hunting, but discovering it was a new acquire interest of  Glenn’s.  His friends interest wasn’t limited to just hunting, but to engage in an outdoor recreation sport of archery and the use of a hunting bow.   The two journeying to the world of pawnbrokers, initiating an acquisition of archery bow accessories,  Glenn absorbing a 90 lb. Cobra bow,  the pianist acquiring 70 lb. Fred Bear Polar bow.  Gary biggest  discernment was  his 140 lb. body affirming the strength to string the bow,  even with an accessory  stringer he could not resolve the situation,  Glenn, his physical astute 200 lbs. providing the acquisition.

The two running across an article in the Daily Oklahoman newspaper exclaiming an area for bow enthusiast adjoining Lake Stanley Draper.  The two novice archers discovering a bow hunters arcadia,  a marked trail wandering thru the wilderness with accomplished hay bale targets, copious in similarities to a golf course.   The new recreational  outdoor accord providing  an awning of their skills, uplifting confidence and a sense of reliability,  the two perceiving they were ready for the challenge of gaming.   The appropriation of deer tags and an investigation of  suggested rural locations led to the discovery of abandon tree blinds,  but succeeding attempts hovering above the ground was in vain, it wasn’t long until the enthusiasm dwindled in their quest, nothing accomplished except the experience.

A new treasure seeker horizon having surfaced,  the advent of the commercial marketed metal detector  and Glenn again rising to a level of expectation.  A return to the familiar Oklahoma City downtown pawnbrokers,  the two desiring acquisition of the metal searching devices with  visions of finding Oklahoma’s lost riches of a bygone era.   A researched excursion to an area of the South Canadian River, the two exploring what they believed to be an inaccessible area of the river,  trouncing thru the underbrush to acquaint the sand on the river’s edge, the bounty treasure waiting to be achieved.

Gary soon discovering it wasn’t the ambiguity of the venture, but the appreciated absorption of mother nature, enjoying the disposition from the bounds of captivity surrounding the expression of his profession, the smoke-filled world of  entertainment.   The aura of the river,  the exposure to the elements and a fulfillment of life’s privilege,  the searching expedition was abbreviated with the sudden gratuity of discovery, instead of the bounties of lost treasure the only satisfaction was  a bevy of beer cans bringing a conclusion to their quest.

Glenn and Dorothy still ardent in search of their property goal discovering a settlement in Sapulpa, 93 miles east of Oklahoma City, 12 miles west of Tulsa.  The brother and sister deciding to  lease the 40 acres,  requesting Gary for  some financial support,  the pretense, an investment partnership.   The property was nestled on a slight rural hillside,  a  14 x 60 ft. mobile home residency,  congruent with propane,  electricity and well pump supplying water.   Glenn’s latest entrepreneur exploit was to enter a farming enterprise, not the acquisition of typical farm animal husbandry,  but specializing in the abundantly reproducing lagomorphs, better known as rabbits.   His conclusion being,  not to house the rabbits in a hutch,  but to fence an area for free ranging, thus saving the expense of housing and included in his free ranging surmise would be a minimal number of  ducks,  turkeys and chickens.

Gary approached the concept with pure skepticism,  but it would provide an opportunity to acquaint Glenn with a pastime and a possible source of income,  providing  the ambition would come to  fruition.   Gary would instill a visits traversing the Turner Turnpike, sometimes journeying with his family but soon finding the Sapulpa country atmosphere uncomfortable,  the summer heat overpowering, the mobile homes undersized air conditioner, the water pump for the well presenting problems, the  animals not ready for harvest and in general most of the visits not going well.   The Willson’s returning to Oklahoma City after a visit,  assessing the kindred project, Gary and Kaye deciding the only thing gained from their visit was  a bodily invasion by deleterious ticks.

The first to abandon the scene was Glenn’s sister Dorothy,  removing herself and her monetary contribution from the outlandish Sapulpa environment returning to Indiana.   Glenn’s operandi remained an unacknowledged failure, but his lack of finance becoming  a noticeable  severance in the operation.  Being  idealistic  he began supplementing his monetary aspirations by downing numerous highway hidden out of sight hickory trees occupying the rented 40 acres,  supplying the local Sapulpa barbecue restaurant with the desirous wood.   Glenn finally advocating defeat and deciding to  vacate the premise.

Gary returning to the ill-fated concession,  arriving in his 1966 Ford pick-up,  an unorthodox removal of the animal menagerie would have to be accomplished.   The afforded consisting of   2 turkeys,  2 ducks,  27 chickens and a dozen rabbit’s all to be loaded in  bed of the pickup,  the cage-less conglomerate covered with chicken wire screening with only one destination available,  Gary’s residence in  Oklahoma City.  The traversing of the Turner Turnpike was an entertaining spectacle for the passing populace who stared with ambiguity at the pickup, its bed covered with chicken wire,  full of the farmyard menagerie, a grapes of wrath presentation.   Arriving in the City, the unloading commencing to a startled wife, the neighbor gawking at the array,  the backyard of the musicians abode serving as an overnight heaven for the struggling arcade.

An accelerated animal dispersion from Gary’s 46th Terrace residence which resembled a  farming commune began. The  ducks finding shelter  in the backyard of Gary’s mother-in-law Helen,   the two turkeys, whom were unsuspecting of their future, Gary placing some grain between two logs,  then availing  an ax when the gobblers discovered the grain,  the feather petitions soon abiding as freezer bound morsels of nourishment.   The chickens acquired the same fate as their larger feathered relatives,  joining their cousins in the realm of frozen prospect.  The rabbits,  soft and furry creatures finding haven,  Gary, with his young children looking on couldn’t weld a nutrient charge, sparing their lives another disposition would have to be researched.  It took a while to resolve the rabbit situation but not until rabbits did what they were noted for, their numbers increased.

Gary’s wife Kaye finding a solution,  a FAA consort from work possessing a farming domain in Newcastle offering to transfer the lagomorphs to his authority for their perpetual care.  Gary concluding that the approximation of Glenn’s countenance was a lesson learned in perspicuity, another chapter having been written in the book of life.

Nationally Celebrated………#132 (the 70’s)

October 8, 2016

Sami-K – a raising talent

.   With the advent of  ‘Sami K’  the Cove flourished but as time passed the avidity of her talent was also discovered by others.  The once vacant Meridian Ave. becoming a hub for quality entertainment with the addition of new facilities, the elegant Ramada Inn, the Airport Sheraton and a Sports Bar endowed Hilton Inn.  The inaugurating Pirates Cove  entertainment menu continued with the successful ‘ Sami K’,  but it was just a matter of time before  the much larger Hilton approached the Velma-Ala Oklahoma country girl.  Sami accepting an offer from Hilton, apologetically thanking Gary for giving her the opportunity to expand her entertainment horizons.

.   Researching for  talent wasn’t easy, the band able to continue with Jerry Connell and Gary briefly with the vocals, but the sudden loss of drummer Jim Hayes without a notice adding to the detriment.  Gary making a call to the Sallee agency about a drummer and was surprise when a percussionist with the Oklahoma City Symphony called to confirm he could fill in for a while.  Gary making  phone calls that led to a guitar playing itinerant vocalist who worked days as a part-time house painter and his hippy long haired Vietnam Vet drummer.  The pianist as well as the management realizing something would have to be done, wondering if there was another Jan or Sami out there.

.   It was almost unbelievable,  Gary receiving a call from Herbie Carpenter,  he had found someone.  The club owner stating her name was Debbie Swisher, and had been appearing at the Copa Club, in the Habana Inn with the Joe Davis Quartet, and enter rested in working, adding that she had given notice.  After meeting with her, Gary was elated,  but somewhat suspicious of someone taking a professional step-down, but deciding she was sincere with her desire to work with the band.   Gary having no qualms about giving the house painting vocalist notice,  but was more than satisfied with Vietnam Vet,  Eddy Ferguson on Drums, the band now consisting of Debbie, Eddy, Jerry Connell on guitar, Gary playing piano & keyboard bass and the addition of Jerry Willis lead guitar on weekends.

.   Debbie was no stranger to the world of music, in 1955 three school age girls from Hanover Pennsylvania  started a vocal group called the Pixie Three, rising to prominence,  appearing twice on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour  and in 1963  having a top 40 hit with Mercury Records.  Debbie changing venues from the Pixie Three in 1966,  replacing Toni Mason as the lead singer with another celebrated group The Angels of   ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’ fame.  With Debbie on the Pirate Cove bandstand it didn’t take long for her vocal expertise to capture an audience,  the  club capacity again expanding.

.   Eddy Ferguson,  the Vietnam Vet was somewhat different from any drummer Gary had ever worked with, besides exhibiting perfect timing,  he professed a volume resiliency that was unique from most drummers, in that it didn’t override the musical expression,  but lifted it.  He was  a man of few words, not shy, but adding only prevalent observations to a conversation.  Gary wondering if he was always this way,  or it might be a reflection of his Vietnam experience.  One thing the pianist did notice,   Eddy and Debbie were inherently quiet individuals, and it became apparent when they began to spend time together,  an affinity for each other was in the developmental stage.

.   The early spring found Gary and his wife  journeying  40 miles to Eddy’s mother’s home in Purcell Oklahoma for the baronial marriage of the two.  The official ministering the ceremony, Eddy’s mother, Gary and Kaye the only participants attending the celebration,  a reason for the attendance was never asked,  but apparently the lack of invitations was a hidden resolve.  The ceremony acquiring their nuptial  joining with a presupposition of musical vowels,  Eddy singing his promise and devotion, Debbie vocalizing her acceptance and love, a memorable and appreciated ceremony.  Gary still declaring the event as an ovation to the couples life journey.

.   It wasn’t unusual for renown musical groups that performed at the Oklahoma City Auditorium, to stay at the Holiday Inn West.  Kenny Rogers and the First Edition having arrived from completing their highlighted engagement,  the band  making their countenance known at the Pirates Cove, but Kenny apparently retreating to eclipse a public appearance.   Gary waiting until a break to approach the band members,  asking if they would address their fans by sitting in.  With invitation accepted, the announcement made, The First Addition mounting the bandstand,  receiving  accolades from  the capacity restitution.  The visiting musician fulfilling their sit-in  commitment,  returning to their table, relating they had another show tomorrow night in Stillwater, and would drop by again.   Gary having a coherence for the coming event,  deciding he would bring his reel to reel tape recorder and record this second nights event for prosperity.

.   The following evening placing his tape recorder on the front seat of his car, starting  to the Pirates Cove,  but when turning left off May Avenue,  an oncoming pickup truck suddenly appeared like an apparition,  Gary not seeing it until the collision.  The Comet striking the oncoming  vehicle,  its forward momentum  sending it escalating up the May Avenue roadway.   Gary’s knees buckling the steering wheel and impacting his chin.  Gathering his orientation, the driverside door still operable, getting out glancing up May Avenue,  the pick-up coming to rest a hundred yards up the road, the driver sprawled half in and half out, exhibiting no signs of movement. Gary reacted immediately, heading to the 7 11 store adjacent to the accident, telling the stunned counter employee several times,  the person in the pickup might be seriously hurt,  to call an ambulance, then noticing his reflection in a window displayed and the reason for an aghast clerk,  the musicians face was covered with blood.

.   The ambulance arriving before local law enforcement, the pickup driver now alert declining the need of assistance.  Blood was flowing from Gary’s chin, the responders approaching Gary,  suggesting  they transport him to South Community Hospital, Gary hesitant, having a concern about the disposition of his car, being assured by the ambulance responders,  the police would see to it.  During the stitching of his chin, the police having arrived for their report,  following a prolonged time in X-ray,  Gary  finally calling the club informing them of his dilemma, he thought it best to abstain from the night’s performance, even in pain,  he was disappointed at missing another opportunity experience,  The First Edition

.   The seceding night,  bandaged and bruised, diligently mounting the bandstand,  the pianist once again advancing the motto of his craft,  the show must go on, thankful to be returning,  but sadden at the loss of his traveling companion, the 1963 Comet.

A Cadillac Interpretation…………#133 (the 70’s)

October 6, 2016


.   It’s achievements having been commodious, the years of  execution evident from unintentional assault and it’s treatment was born of discharge, reconciled by continuous application. A reception of agnostic dissertation having prevailed, the aptitude of its production demonstrating one of eminence.  Its purpose was remarkably attained with a resounding presence of achievement in the affirmative, but a resolution of discharge from a participation in commerce was in order, the time having surfaced, it’s replacement was adherent, the decision having been made, Gary was trading-in his faithful Wurlitzer #120 electric piano.

.     Gary journeying to Del City,  his accredited musical instruments firmly secured in the bed of the 1966 Ford pickup,  the Wurlitzer Electric Piano #120, and the Kustom 150 amp with its two 12 inch speakers both espoused for dispensation.   Arriving at Bob Woods Del City Music provided the musician an opportunity to gaze upon the appliances of musical fatuity.  The Del City structure abounding  with the wares of musical apparition,  the store a portrait of  instrument availability,  bestowing a beckoning  to all that dared entry.  Gary ready to conduct business with a friend, owner Bob Woods, his stature as a musician and country music provocateur organizing the Oklahoma Country Music Association was well-known throughout the state.

.   Gary discovering an array of desirable musical appliances, the only circumstance restraining his purchasing willpower was financial, but it too was in transition.  Bob’s  wife Carolyn on the phone,  resolving his fiscal qualification and credence.  With the  validation  of the musicians credit  credentials,  Gary finding a new edict to propagate his musical instrument portfolio,  his procurement realm aspiring for the ultimate in band equipment.   This time the Musician would not be financially embryonic in the acquisition of band equipment,  finding a new experience dawning,  applying  a Cadillac interpretation in his decisions.

.  The incomparable Fender Rhodes electric piano,  accepting its station in his music world. The Rhodes sharing the name with the iconic guitar.  His first Custom 1 50 amp,  relinquished for  a 3hundred watt Custom  amp with a mounting stand,  and  two Custom speaker enclaves,  each containing two 15 inch JBL’s  speakers,  a noble replacement.  An additional acquisition,  a 2hundred watt Custom P A amp addressing  two column,  each  with four eight inch speakers. The total fiscal amount of his purchases, approaching the cost of Gary’s 63 Mercury Comet car when purchased new.  As a musician, the new equipment instilled a surge of fulfillment,  a desire and an optimism that new equipment would add a new vitality to the bandstand.

.   A late winter night,  an eight inch, gusting 40 mile per hour wind-driven snow blanketing Oklahoma City.  Gary finding it difficult to travel to guitarist Jerry Willis’s house,  but succeeding after several detours.  only to find their normal route to the Pirates Cove at the  Holiday Inn on Meridian Avenue closed,  the road arrested with a catechism of white blanketed confinement.   May Avenue,  a corresponding tact,  also snowed over,  but for some unexplained reason,  a northward single lane  remained open on Portland Avenue.  The two determined musicians finding a hazardous opportunity to reach Interstate 40, the Cross-Town Expressway.  To their dismay,  the on ramp to the Cross Town was barricaded,  but Reno Street,  a parallel venture below the raised Cross-Town was receptive,  a snowplow having  traversed the roadway clearing a passage.  Upon entering, the two finding that it  resembled a toboggan run,  the snow three and four feet high on either side.  The two musicians continuing their journey,  arrested within the walls of snow,  the headlights of the car beaming like a snow lit beacon,  a perception that they were interned in a tunnel.

.   The two able to apprehend the Holiday Inn on Meridian Avenue,  the rest of the City seemingly void of activity,  its residence  snowbound.  An arrival finding the day shift compliment of  employment still dictating the Pirate’s Cove operation, apparently the night personnel unable to compose an appearance  because of the deleterious snow conditions.   Gary and Jerry,  the only band members having success in arriving,  questioning each other,  whether to attempt to entertain a very diminished club audience.  An unexpected occurrence,  a Greyhound Bus seeking  refuge, unable to travel south on the now closed  H E Bailey Turnpike south, another  casualty of the storm.  the captive bus containing fifty-eight army recruits destined for Fort Sill,  their deliberate journey interrupted.    Gary watched as the snowbound  prospective patrons seated themselves.  Wanda  Moreno, the  daytime bartender also one of the stranded snowed in assembly having to do double duty.

.   Wanda conversing on the phone with Herb Carpenter,  the weather bound proprietor,  a question concerning whether to serve the military compliment,  as most were under age to consume alcohol.  Asking if she should adhere to the letter of the law or what, Herb replying   the ABC board wouldn’t  be out on a night like this,  go ahead and serve them.   Gary visiting with some of the soldiers,  answering their question about the band playing, mentioning they could,  but it would sound better with a drummer.  Then from another table they heard a name mentioned,  discovering that there was  a soldier that played drums among the stranded congregate,  and was more than happy to sit in.  With the advent of a drummer,  a commendable trio was enhanced,  entertainment prevailing for the confined.

.   The Oklahoma City road crew up to the task, the main thoroughfares and Meridian partially opened, and with the drive home,  the toboggan run experienced musician fulfilling another musical page in the Book of Life.

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

October 4, 2016

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.

Indebted For Heredity………#134 Pt.1 (the 70’s)

October 2, 2016


.   Gary was indebted for heredity,  the left hand ambidextrous ability he acquired from his father must have been a proclivity of accession,  the recent loss of his right hand appendage finding this inherited application beneficial.   An uncertainty remained concerning  the appositeness of his piano playing profession, with no time frame prognosis for his condition to improve,  he would have to acquire an acute resolve to transcend the despondency that knew would surely come.  A first step was instituted by  securing a wrist and hand brace,  to bereaved the limp notification of his loss and the public display of his deficiency.   His transition from a normal right hand transaction to the left was awkward because of habit,   but once inoculated would suffice,  the only true difficulty was the expertise of signature.  Researching the subject of neurology and his related lack of appendage mobility,  discovering a premise to employ.   During the hours of inactivity watching TV,   he would place a rubber ball in the palm of his inoperative hand,  attempting to communicate a reflex from his brain to the non-functioning extremity.

.   The concern for the his right hand restoration played heavily on him, the provision of expectancy was allocated to the ticking of a  temporal clock,  Gary needed relief, a change of venue, a decision being made for a visit to California.  His wife Kaye utilizing some of her acquired vacation time making  reservation for an ocean side bungalow in Long Beach.  The families retreat would entertain a visit to Disneyland and an opportunity to introduce Kermit, his wife’s father to his   granddaughter Marlo.  A further venture to visit relatives of his mother-in-law Helen’s first marriage,  to the Rice’s residing in scenic Morro Bay,  Kaye’s maiden name being Rice,  never having  meant any of her namesake relatives,  and from Morro Bay,  they could continue on to Gary’s parents’ home in Oakland.  The trip would be a leisurely sightseeing tour west,  the families 1967 Buick Wildcat, Kaye’s work car,  destined as  mode of transportation.

.   An early morning start, the once reputable Route 66 having acquired a new name, Interstate 40, the nostalgic luster of a bygone era attaining the status of a remembrance.  The familiar sights of Amarillo, and Albuquerque passing in review,  Gary extending the first days travel to over 600 miles, a decision to halt the progress for the nights lodging in Grants New Mexico at the Sands roadside motel. The morning  finding the family  progressing west across the high plains,  thru Gallup and upward to the ponderosa encroachment of Flagstaff.   Addressing the downhill travel, the Wildcat venturing off route 66  to greet a new host,  the Grand Canyon, the Willson’s journeying to the south rim’s view, experiencing the wonderment of its vastness and privilege.  The 18 mile wide canyon prefix  presenting a picture of engagement to the first time beholders, the 6,000 foot depth, mother nature’s presentation of catechism expanse, the family acknowledging it’s acclaimed  presence.

.   The stop at the Grand Canyon realized,  an afternoon vestige back to Interstate 40 beginning, Gary recognizing a necessary to stay the night before entering the Mojave, Kingman promising another nights rest.  Not lingering in the morning,  but pushing onward, the Wildcat unleashed, the steady whoosh of the open four barrels, the GM product rushing thru Needles forward to Barstow,  the family having their sights on making Long Beach by afternoon.  Long Beach having been secured, the Willson’s apprehending the bungalows management on East Ocean Boulevard, the family introduced to a small  bedroom reside with a kitchenette and an ocean beach view, Scott and threeyear old Marlo  eager for the journey to Disneyland, the one-handed Wildcat driver eager for an ocean side rest.

.   A Disneyland morning about to begin, Gary having discovered when visiting with some locals, that two blocks from their location was a public transportation bus stop enabling a Disneyland destination,   suggesting that instead of mapping the drive,  and parking expense,  the family could ride the bus.  The information he received was correct, the carriage destination was Disneyland, the vastness of the 165 acres making a big first impression, the family coming to realize that it would take days to participate in all the attractions.  The entrance admission price was very reasonable,  but the admission to the concessions requiring the purchase of a coupon book, a quick calculation of the cost, deciding this would be a one day excursion but allowing a concession visit to all of the four Lands.

.   The first on the agenda was the Pirates of the Caribbean, an unforgettable journey thru the waterway cavern, followed by Adventure Land,  a trip thru the jungle.  Frontier Land,  a riverboat ride, fighting off Indian attacks,  and Tomorrow Land an adventure in space travel,  with an unforgettable under water trip in the Nautilus, the Captain making an announcement. ” This is the captain speaking. Welcome aboard. We are now underway and proceeding on a course that will take us on a voyage of exploration through liquid space,  enroute we will pass below the polar ice cap,  then probe depths seldom seen by man.    Make yourself comfortable, but please remain seated at all times. And no smoking pleas.  the smoking lamp is out”.   Exhausted, the exploring family satisfied with their  journey because    “if you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, your heart desires will come to you.”


Indebted For Heredity………#134 Pt.2

October 1, 2016


. Gary was looking forward to this day, Kaye having visited with her father Kermit on the phone, having made arrangements to join the family and give them a tour of the RMS Queen Mary on permanent displayed at Long Beach.  Kermit having sailed aboard The Queen when  converted to a troop transport  during World War 2.  Once aboard the luxurious liner, the family discovering a Jacques Cousteau aquarium and a guided tour presentation, Kermit electing to conduct the family with his own tour, including  the many levels and  area he occupied with the returning troop

. After visiting the wheelhouse and the upper levels,  Gary decided to explore on his own,  heading below deck, slipping off entering an area marked  “closed to the public,  no admittance” .  the stairway leading down several levels, the pianist in search of the engine room.   Finding himself in what appeared to be a extended passageway, his search was in vain.   A conclusion to the  Queen Mary adventure, the group mooring themselves at a local restaurant, Gary appreciative of Kermit taking the time to facilitate his relatively new family, making an observation that the newly acquainted grandfather was like a sailor home from the sea.

. The morning bringing a final Southern California visual attendance, the brief journey to the famous Venice Boardwalk,  discovering its location and occupants were a parody to a movie scene and actors portrayed in a  Hollywood production.  A discussion of whether to proceed to Morro Bay or to bypass it, Kaye not really enthused about knocking on strangers doors and introducing yourself as the daughter of Helen, at one time, a member of your family.  Gary reminding her that this was her mother’s idea, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to disappoint her. The Buick pointed north on Highway one oh one, Gary knowing the Morro Bay turn-off was north of San Luis Obispo,  having travel this route before. 

 . It was just as Gary imagined, the address of the Rice relations was located several blocks up on the hillside above the bay,  and its location view of the town’s  star performer, the scenic  Morro Rock was preeminent .  The Willson’s were not unannounced, the family having been expecting them, a cordial welcome coming with their introduction.  The hour was getting late, Gary in process of thanking them for their hospitality when they made an insistent offer,   they had plenty of room and the travelers should spend the night.  An attempt to leave being spoken, but the late hour departure and having no motel reservations was unacceptable to their host,  the Willson’s accepting their hospitality,   staying the night.

. Morro Bay in the rear view mirror, the Wildcat traversing the 15 miles to once again acquaint Highway one oh one north,  but not to his parents residence in Oakland, but to  Pioneer, their cabin retreat in the Sierra’s, an earlier phone call,  discovering the elder Willson’s were spending their summer in the mountainous terrain.  The sixhour drive to pioneer accomplished, his parents delighted at the family’s arrival, the solitude of the Sierras a welcome  Gary discovering that this visit wasn’t what he had expected, his desire to journey back to past, rediscovering his childhood adventures exploring the wilderness never surfaced,  a realization, remembrance is nostalgic, today is real,  and tomorrows are opportunity.  The addition of neighboring residence beginning to surround his parents retreat, once secluded,  their 2 bedroom modern decked cabin  painting a picture of what was to come, Gary was ready to return home to Oklahoma.

 . The departure day having arrived,  the 67 Buick destined to sojourn the Highway to the Sooner State,  the musician somewhat accepting his disability but still uncertain of his future.  It was decided that a leisure return would be exercised,  a stop at Dinosaur City Arizona providing an excursion to a cavernous realm,  viewing the  exposition of the fossilized prehistoric domain, the night being spent in Kingman.  The morning discovering a diverting journey to the Painted Desert, the highlighted colors exclamatory in their presentation, the coinage of  splendor ravishing a color scheme within the silence of an absent wind.   A walk in the petrified forest,  Gary aware of the sign prohibiting the appropriation of the age-old specimens, but upon leaving,  mysteriously discovering a relic from the past in his pocket.

. The Wildcat forging ahead, the familiar high plains beginning to lose their altitude as Albuquerque materialized, another night of rest before the final 8 hour drive to Oklahoma City.  Gary out of curiosity having  chronicled the mileage and the amount of gas purchased,  not surprised to discovering the  430 cubic inch,  360 horsepower Wildcat averaging eleven miles per gallon for the 3500 mile escapade,  very much aware that the four barrel carburetor let itself be known screaming the whole  distance.   Returning to the S.W. 46th Terrace domain,  the encumbered musician feeling the aspects of  despondency,  no longer able to pursue his occupational endeavor or even the halcyon of the golf course along with other presentations.  The appendage loss providing a mundane existence,  but buried within, the fortitude of resolution, the constant placement of a rubber ball in his hand, brain power commanding his fingers to grip,  a discernment of consecration still prevailing.  willing the use of his right arm appendages to return.