Exit To Ambiguity……..#94a (60’s)

 

Glenn Froman

As Gary fulfilled his final military discourse at the Post Out Center,  Glenn was anticipatory, the drummer having driven 560 miles west from Kokomo Indiana to reunite the pianist with the band.  Gary somewhat surprised to see Glenn walk into the center as he waited for his name to be paged to receive his accumulated final back pay.  The two leaving the Army post, Gary questioned himself,  why he was traveling east to Kokomo and not west,  home 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 actions some 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 dinner.  Gary asking Glen what he thought about him and Jerry joining him to California and see about booking the band.  The roadside pause in the trip giving Gary an opportunity to place a call home, telling his mother the drummer in the band had picked him up and they were on their way to Kokomo Indiana.  To his dismay his mother was upset that he wasn’t coming home, the musician was at a loss, it had been a year since he had seen or talk to his parents and he understood the grief he had caused them.  He came to a decision, promising he would come home but first wanting to see what the band thought about venturing to California and if  his old downstairs apartment room was available.  The call concluded, mom satisfied, Glenn asking about the call, Gary conveying what he had said., the only question mark was Jerry.

 

Glenn’s Bride June (Brewer) Froman

During Gary’s absence, Glenn had taken a giant step in entering a matrimonial union, the pianist recalling that he had meant June Brewer once before when she was dating Glenn.  Gary was made aware, that June was far along with a pregnancy and had left to visit relatives in New Mexico. He listened as Glenn related that he  convinced Jerry not only to accompany him and June to Indiana but to haul June’s horse and trailer to his fathers farm.  Arriving at the apartment Glenn and Jerry shared, it was good to see Jerry again, the two having shared not only their approach to music but some serious and humorous times in the past.  Gary awakening to the sudden change in his environment and though de javu’ when told Rickenbacker Guitar playing Tom Holt, the Ft. Sill soldier whom lent his 49 Ford to Gary to drive to Californian, (ending up leaving it there),  had followed Glenn and Jerry to Indiana and was absent from his army unit.  Glenn mentioning that Tom had secured a job as a single act playing in a bar.  The discussion turned to California and the cost of making the trip, Gary mentioning that he received over seven hundred dollars severance from the army.  With California trip decision made Glenn proceeded to see what Gary and  Jerry thought about  changing the name of the band, that a group called the Untouchables playing at Indiana Beach had dissolved , going their separate ways and he thought the Untouchables would be ideal for them. With one more night remaining the Lawton Oklahoma Hi Liters would be no more.

A heartfelt loss

A Fender Stratocaster, a  heartfelt loss

  It was the final night in Kokomo, the Club date having come to a conclusion, the band stopping at a restaurant with a  well-lit parking area, able to view the Ford Convertible conveying all the band equipment from inside the eating establishment.  The meal completed, the band members approaching the car,  something seemed amiss, Gary recognizing a laundry package containing  white starched shirts on the ground.  The shirts having been placed with others in the convertibles boot, the packages covering Jerry stowed guitar case with its  pristine black and white Fender Stratocaster.  Taking a closer look and moving the remaining packages, the guitar was missing.  It was apparent someone must observed it being put in the convertibles boot when embarking from the club and in all probability followed them to the restaurant, somehow seizing on the opportunity to steal it.  Jerry Placing a call,  law enforcement was notified, but to no avail, there was nothing they could do except take a stolen property report, the situation futile, the guitar irretrievable.   The 780 mile journey to Lawton Oklahoma was still scheduled to commence in the morning, a sadden Jerry very dishearten,  but resolute about the future.

It was a familiar hearth for Gary, the town and Lawton Oklahoma and Hardy Suggs Music store on D Ave.   The three unemployed musicians greeting the familiar Hardy, Jerry venturing the question about the store 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 a fortuitousness call upon Lawton Music on 3rd street,  the establishment that rendered him the #110 model Wurlitzer electric piano,  the musician desirous of replacement metal reeds  that produce the resonating piano sound,  aware of the limited music stores that stocked the item.   Packing the Ford convertible for their continuing venture to California had found every available expansion consumed.   The top of the convertible was unable to augment,  giving meaning to a fair weather watch.  Gary having acquainted his family of the groups embarkation,  being assured of accommodations upon their arrival in Oakland. The journey would encompass well over 1600 mile, with a stop in Clovis New Mexico so Glenn could visit his wife,  then a non-stop continuous excursion west.   The Ford incurring the responsibility for success.   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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