The view from the church on the Plains. As Isaid yesterday - Aunt Joyce died. My mother's brother's wie. She is not the last of my father’s cohort, but she’s the last link on my Mom’s side to the Farm. When I was growing up there were two houses - my Grandparents, and my Aunt/Uncle/ Cousin’s place, a mid-century rambler. As I’ve noted from time to time, we went to the Farm every Sunday to see the relatives, have dinner, and watch Grandpa’s fancy color TV. (He had it years before we did.) Grandpa would sit in his chair and watch Ed Sullivan and Lawrence Welk and drink his Schlitz and smoke his Old Golds. He’d done well. The farm was in the hands of his son now, there were children about, the daughter was married off to a fellow who seemed to know his way around the world - it was good to be him, in his chair, with a beer and a smoke, and watching Lawrence Welk.

His name was Victor, which fit.

The upstairs of the house had a mysterious hallway that led to an unused bedroom my older cousin took over as his lair, his getaway, his alter-ego secret base. The hallway had old hairy coats and a dressmaker’s dummy and ancient boardgames - why, after all these years, did I suddenly think UNCLE WIGGLY after all these decades? - and we’d listen to ancient 78s on the Victrola. From the window you could see my cousin’s new house, the kitchen window where his mother would be working.

They build a wing in the late 60s, spiffed up the place - furnished basement, new front room. I wrote my name on the studs before they sealed them up. If I remember anything from the basement it’s being a small kid sliding naked on the cement floor after they’d hosed it down with the shower hose - no actual shower stall, but a rough enclosure, and a hose, and a thick bar of Lava. You needed the Lava to get the chaff off after combining.

We went every Sunday, until I declined to go, because teenagers are idiots. I’ve seen Aunt Joyce over the years at this event or that, and last saw her at my Dad’s funeral. She was infirm, in a chair, and had required a great deal of assistance in the form of orderlies and a special van with tie-downs to get her to the service. All these things that keep people alive and offer the possibility of engaging with the world seem like small cruelties sometimes. Often, the more you see them.

The funeral was at the old country church, where we buried my father. My cousin sang a solo in the choir for his mom. Afterwards there were ham sandwiches and that special Lutheran Funeral Food, pimenos and cheese spread on cinnamon bread. Coffee and bars. Her recipe for the bars, I believe.

She was always nice to us. She had a smile that made her seem like she was unexpectedly delighted by whatever made her smile. The text on the program said she was a Farm Wife, and she loved it. I hadn't thought of the term Farm Wife in a long time, but I will think of her when I see it again, because she was, and yes she did love it. Through floods and droughts, hot summers and aching winters.

Said goodbyes and drove down the old roads, across a narrow bridge, found the freeway, and drove back to the Cities. I'll be up again soon. There's much to do. And when it's done?

It might be a long, long time before I go back for any other reason than someone else has shut the drapes.


That famed Minneapolis waterfront, with all the rough types:

SEE? SEE? They can just wing them if they want to!!!! Solution is here.




Must we? I guess so. Back to the Blue Note Cafe.


The usual opening.

Tiny snippet; I can't place it.






Hey, composer, something that really surprises us because it's CHARK YARDLEY


Perhaps you had to be there.


But you can tell it's a live audience, and there's always some yahoo that whistles.

This time, lots of yahoos who whistle.

Oh, by the way: join the Navy. NOW PLEASE WHISTLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE


Get your kicks, comrade:

Wikipedia: "an American jazz trumpeter and the brother of trumpeter Conte Candoli. He played with the big bands of Woody HermanStan Kenton, and many others, and worked extensively in the studios of the recording and television industries."

So you've probably heard him without knowing it was him.


I mean, you have.

"Candoli was also featured prominently on the DePatie-Freleng Enterprises cartoon series The Ant and the Aardvark, which utilized a jazz score for its theme and musical cues."




"Let's invent post-Labor-day shopping season."

That'll do; see you Monday with some fascinating tales . . . of the mysteries of persistent flatware.




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