Sunday, September 20, 2015

My friend Gordon Boraks, 72

Gordon Boraks and Jake Vaughan on Skylark sailing Hull Gut ca. 2004.
I met Gordon through Danny Weldon, and I remember Gordon was kind of quiet – looking at me from various angles. He'd size you up but he was ready to like you. And he could talk, I discovered. And he could hammer nails, blow sax, sail the Hull Gut. And he told me jokes that I still carry (1- the Jewish fellow who goes to confession in Catholic Church and 2-the Jewish fellow who takes up a Catholic Church's offer to convert for $200 cash today only - a theme developing, no?).

When Danny was sick, Gordon was so there. He organized the Weldone Weldon Ball at the Post, and he'd always visit him – just a great example of a true friend.

He was my friend and we would talk about music.  Monk and Miles, Sonny Rollins, Sam Butera and his mentor Junior Cook. He told me he heard Monk talk at Lenny's on the Turnpike. What did he say? Something to the bartender: "Whiskey. Straight. No chaser." He told me he went on the road early on in his life to play in circuses. Behind dancing girls. Wow! Gordon told me he played Night Train so many times that he could have the World record in the Guinness book. Ba-dum. 

Baaaaa-da/ Ba-da-da-da-da-da-da- dah. Night Train! Night Train!


Great days were when I was able to be talking with him, even about way back. He told me of heading on the road with Jeannie – I guess my details are shaky but the picture is clear. I am afraid to ask exactly how quite young she was. Driving cross country – now it could have been a Volkswagon, along time ago, I don’t know, but here is what I picture: The two Somerville teens in a White convertible Olds that's a block long, and they get to San Francisco and the see Miles Davis immediately at the Blackhawk.  This is a historic couple.  Its been so wonderful. 

And obviously Gordon balanced the jazz with putting the food on the table. Raising a family in Mission Hill. And he took pride in carpentry, in his union, he was level on the level. His enthusiasm was something that yougot -  too. It became a part of you.

A good neighbor. He helped me to hang a door, to insert a window sill. I cant remember all. We watched Kentucky Derbies, SuperBowls. We saw Elvin Jones, Steve Lacy. We watched prize fights. He and Danny were magnificent sports, even when the Tyson-Spinks fight lasted all of 91 seconds for $33 a piece.  It was great later to see him take to the sea with so much gusto – to learn the right way to sail, to share it, and to become  captain of Skylark. To take us sailing … to just enjoy the days. I feel he became a part of me. And that he is playing in the band in the big beyond. 

Skylark
Have you anything to say to me?
Won't you tell me where my love can be?
Is there a meadow in the mist
Where someone's waiting to be kissed?


1 comment:

Laura Bianchi said...

Just Beautiful!

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