Dawning A Command Performance..#104 (the 60’s)

Gary and Kaye

It was Sunday evening February 18th, Gary stopping at the Horseshoe Club finding a substantial number of customers, it was Jay, the regal bartenders birthday, and among those in attendance was Helen Streets daughter Kermece.  Kermece or Kaye as she was perceived by non-family,  endured with her mother and grandmother, Gary experience this introduction as the inaugural of something more meaningful to come.   An attentive relationship was building between the two,  finding the two spending more and more time together.   Gary being introduced and feeling very comfortable with Kaye’s family,  the delicate lady was an only child as was her mother and having a mutual regard  for her grandmother Sarah, being the matriarch and the person most responsible for rising her granddaughter.  Also residing in the home was Sarah’s elderly but somewhat disabled husband E.W. Jones, having suffered an onset of dementia.  Her mother Helen a  vibrant lady having experienced the concave of being married several times, but knowing the value and security of full time employment having worked for the federal government since World War II,  still continuing with an important  position at Tinker Air Force Base.  Kaye having following suit with government service, employed with the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)  shortly after graduating from High School.

Helen, Sarah and E.W.

The steward of the house - Dean Bray

The steward of the house – Deana Bray

Kayes good friend Dean Bray extending an invitation for her to move in with her.  Deana, a widow with a young daughter, occupied a very spacious three bedroom home just east of May Ave on S.W. 53rd St. and after  considerate contemplation Kaye acknowledged her  acceptance to the invitation.   Gary’s financial situation having suffered with the bands decline, his DeSoto payment in arrears.  Sharing his problem with  Kaye,  her immediately reaction was to help,  inquiring about his account then discerning she would like to compensate for the late payments and to his consternation taking it upon herself to discharge the entire remaining quantum without reservation. The incinerate summer heat found Gary and the air-conditioned DeSoto journeying to and from the Federal Aviation Agency record division office in the Home State Life building at 6th and Robinson,  ferrying the work empowered Kaye and Deana.  The affinity between the musician and his new-found Desire endured and Deana recognizing the contingency, espousing  the musician with a like invitation to reside at her residency.  Gary tarried with the offer, but his concern was for Kaye and the impression it would have on her family.  After considerable deliberation, leaving the final decision up to Kaye, Gary giving W.E. Curry, his Reality friend his notice of vacancy having accepted Deana’s offer of residency on S.W. 53rd St.

A Bobby Vinton Clone

Bobby and the Runaways,  a Chicago combo,  dressed in tuxedo’s, black or powder blue, an impressive group with Bobby,  the lead guitar and featured vocalist,  a Bobby Vinton clone.   Gary was first aware of the Runaways arrival when Kaye acknowledged  her friend and co-worker Deana Bray was smitten with the bands drummer.  The Runaways, a four piece band from Chicago entertaining several nights at the Embers Club at N.W. 10th and N. May Ave for an extended engagement.  Gary somewhat curious about a Chicago based band playing at Embers rather than the Copa or one of the other large motels that highlighted established out-of-town bands.

Glenn, The Untouchables drummer was under stress with financial and  family matters,  accepting part-time employment with his father in-law in Lawton through the week and without a drummer the bands engagements were reduced to week-ends status.  Guitarist Jerry Willis  having establishing a serious relationship with Darlene Philips, her position as a full-time employee at Cattlemen’s Cafe finding the musician occupying his off nights minding her three young siblings during her employment hours.   Gary recognizing the bands situation with Glenn and Jerry somewhat preoccupied, the incentive to progress and give the band direction was stymied.   The pianist desiring a more fruitful source of income  and visiting with and after a personal introduction to the Runaways by Deana, discovered the group had heard the Untouchables and Gary’s piano and to his  surprising making an offer for him to join the group.  Hesitating, the pianist acknowledged the offer, replying he would give it some thought, Gary later visiting with Glenn and Jerry both leaving it up to him to decided.  With the current lack of enthusiasm and the defection displayed  the keyboard musician accepting The Runaways offer.

Embers Club NW 10th & May Ave.

The management of the Embers Club making an exception in their booking schedule for The Runaways, the band featured five nights with an almost nightly capacity crowd, but as the weeks progressed it began to fade.  Gary could see the handwriting on the wall, Bobby and the Runaways tarry in Oklahoma City would be short-lived.  Bobby given Gary notice of their intention to move on to Albuquerque.  The next day they were gone, not saying goodbye or asking for the return of the two tuxes given the keyboard musician.  Gary wasn’t surprised at the suddenness of the band leaving town,  having become suspicious of the Chicago group when discovering the inner label bore the registration of a Chicago uniform rental company.

  Gary visiting with Glenn and Jerry  at the Tempo Club about resuming his association with the band,  the two welcoming his decision to return,  having to give the guitar and bass that replaced him notice.  Gary’s keyboard bass and piano once again initiating a semblance of arrangements  instilling the enthusiasm and avidity to a composition, the return of the Untouchables unique sound.   What was more enlightening was discovering a renewed purpose with added resolve,  a new horizon,  Glenn moving his family from Lawton to Oklahoma City enabling the added productive weekday engagements.

It was a Sunday evening, September 16th,  the time having arrived, having visualized this moment more than once,  wanting to express himself in some poetic way.  Looking at Kaye having expressed his love for her he finally  just said it, “will you many me” and then adding a gesture,  he kneeled down, “I’m on bended knee”  the dawning of his command performance accomplished.

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