Friday, May 3, 2013

Memories of years gone by...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/3/13

Unfortunately, I couldn't get out to the music last night. But I had a music filled day just the same.

JAZZ Saxophonist, Turk Mauro, called and asked if I would like to visit the Antique Car Museum in Ft. Lauderdale. It sounded like a good idea and turned out to be a great idea. Turk showed up, on time, accompanied by his friend and fellow saxman Randy Emerick and his wife. Randy had a 1927 Buescher model straight alto with him and wanted to get pix with an auto of the same vintage. The museum is a collection of Packards. Some of them having been owned by Presidents and movie stars. The memories of years gone by came in flashes. 

Here is a personal history lesson. There were some 1930's models with rumble seats. My older sisters were to baby-sit me when our folks went to the movies to get "free dishes". Instead they and their 'beaus' would bundle me up in a blanket, shove me into the "rumble seat" of a Chevy and off to the Glen Island Casino to listen to the great swing bands of that time.

They had a 1940 model. My 5 piece band, complete with a drum set and upright bass, drove from New York to Miami Beach in a '39 Packard. The trip from The Bronx to Lummis Park (now known as South Beach) took 3 days. At many gas stations along the way, the price of fuel was 10 gallons for $1. We worked from mid-October to mid-March. The joint was called "The Pump Room" an intended double entendre. Most of the customers were pimps, girls on the 'stroll' guys named Angelo or Tony and some guys spending "black market" money. The owner was B.S. Pulley, a blue comedian. On request we played Porter's "Love For Sale" or Dubin/Warren's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". During those 6 months we did them at least 8 times a night, 6 nights a week. When I have trouble falling asleep, I recite the chord changes to those 2 songs.

Randy, his wife, Turk and I followed the museum visit with a 4 hour lunch. We shared great musician stories. A nominal number of adult beverages were consumed. When I arrived home, driving through a deluge and tornado warning, I fell asleep. That is the real reason that I didn't get to the music. My apologies to those great guys from Dillard who performed at WDNA last night. Tonight, Art Serve on Sunrise for the First Friday Jam which features middle and high school JAZZ musicians. You can hear the stars of the future and brag about it when they "make it".     

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