Exit To Ambiguity……#94a (the 60’s)

Gary receiving a vindicating honorable discharge from the army, fulfilling his final military discourse at the Post Out Center.   Glenn Froman was anticipatory, the drummer having borrowed the bass player’s car for the 560 mile drive from Kokomo Indiana to reunite the pianist with the band.  Gary wasn’t surprised to see Glenn walk into the center as he waited on the paperwork to receive his final back pay.  The two beginning their journey, Gary questioning why he was traveling east to Kokomo and not west to California.  His decision to join Glenn and guitarist Jerry Willis in Kokomo Indiana was not decisive, but transitory and the long drive provided an opportunity to give his action more thought.

Darkness having set upon the travelers, a rain beginning, the product of a passing thunderstorm.  the two deciding it would be a good time to halt their journey and find a roadside diner.  Gary mentioning and Glenn receptive to traveling west to California, exploring the possibilities of booking the band.  The roadside pause giving Gary an opportunity to call home, it had been a prolong time since he had talk to his parents and he recognized their probable concern.  His mother was upset, questioning why he wasn’t coming home, the musician conveying  the situation, emphasizing the band traveling to California.  The call concluded, Gary assuring his mom he would be returning.  Glenn asking about the call, Gary relating about their california decision,  now the only question mark was Jerry Willis.

During Gary’s absence, Glenn had taken a giant step, entering into a matrimonial union, the pianist recalling that he had meant June Brewer once before when she was dating Glenn.  Gary listened as Glenn mentioned how Jerry agreed to accompany him and June to Indiana,  transporting June’s horse to his father’s farm and that June was in the later stages of a pregnancy and had moved back home but was currently visiting relatives in Clovis New Mexico.  An arrival in Kokomo, found Gary awakening to the sudden change in his environment,  it was good see Jerry again, the two having shared not only their approach to music but some serious and humorous times.

He was surprised when told Rickenbacker Guitar playing fort sill soldier, Tom Holt, had followed Glenn and Jerry to Indiana and had secured an additional week day gig as a single act playing in a bar.  The discussion turned to traveling to California and the expense of making the trip, Gary mentioning that it wouldn’t be a problem having received his army severance pay.  With their California trip decision made,  Glenn proceeded to see what the two thought about  changing the band’s name,  a group playing at Indiana Beach called the Untouchables had dissolved, going their separate ways, and thought the band name Untouchables would be ideal for them.

Gary reunited with his Wurlitzer Electric Piano, with one night remaining,  the Club date  coming to a conclusion,  the band loading Jerry’s ford, deciding to stop at a diner with a well-lit parking area, able to view the Convertible conveying all the band equipment from inside.  Their meal completed, the three approaching the car,  something seemed amiss, Gary recognizing a dry cleaning laundry package containing white shirts on the ground.  The shirt packages having been placed with others in the convertibles boot covering Jerry’s stowed guitar case with its  pristine black and white Fender Stratocaster.  Taking a closer look,   moving the remaining packages, the guitar was missing. It became was apparent,  someone observed it being put in the convertibles boot at the club,  and in all probability followed them to the restaurant, somehow seizing on an opportunity to steal it.  Jerry placing a call,  law enforcement was notified, there was nothing they could do except take a stolen property report, the situation futile, the guitar irretrievable.   The 877 mile journey to Lawton Oklahoma was scheduled to commence in the morning, but a decision to stay another day was made,  hoping something might turn up, but to no avail,   A sadden Jerry very dishearten,  but remained resolute about the future.

It was a familiar hearth for Gary, the musician arriving in Lawton and Hardy Suggs Music store on D Avenue.   The three travelers greeting the familiar Hardy,  Jerry venturing the question about having a used Fender guitar, to his benediction, Hardy answering in the affirmative.   The guitar not a Stratocaster,  but another fender product that was an ample messenger of music,  a Telecaster.  The Lawton visit providing Gary an opportunity to  call upon Lawton music, the establishment that rendered him his #110 model Wurlitzer electric piano.  the musician in need of the tuned metal reeds that produce the resonating piano sound,  aware that only Wurlitzer distributors stocked them.

Their journey to begin, every available space consumed with storage, preventing the convertible top from raising, giving meaning to a scattered thunderstorm watch on their journey.   Gary having notified his family of the groups embarkation,  being assured of accommodations upon their arrival at his home in Oakland. The journey would encompass well over 1600 miles, with an overnight stop in Clovis New Mexico so Glenn could visit with June,  then a non-stop continuous excursion west.  The enterprising exploit beginning, the Ford incurring the responsibility for success, the front seat of the open air jitney  providing a temporary home for the three Untouchables.


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