Sunday, March 12, 2017

People I saw


Jerry Garcia - After concert - We decided there was a certain energy missing that night. And as we walked from the concert we in unison sang "I'm Ready" the Muddy Waters song where he "hopes some screwball wants to fight" and lo and behold in a Checker Cab about to depart were the Gratefuls. And Jerry hearing us singing, with a bit of a limp smile somewhat nodded in our direction...Shook hands with Dick Waterman who managed Muddy, Bonnie Raitt, Skip James, Son House, many others… he had a booth...It was the Boston Blues Fest  ....William Burroughs -  I went up to him after a reading at Charles St. Reading House in 1973 and asked him a couple of questions for a story I wrote maybe for journalism class. He was open. He'd just moved back to US after many years overseas. "Is America a more or less a repressive state now?" I asked. "It's a lot more open," he said...Saw Danny Kaye around Christmas at Brentano's Book Store on 5th Ave. He was a star. Everyone fawned over him, and he was full of wit. Very New Yorkish....WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee - I ran up and questioned him after a conf keynote in Boston at Hynes. All flustered was I. Send the question via email he said, it is much better for clarity. So true, not least of all because he talks fast. I saved the email- it's around here somewhere...Rex Harrison - At Mugar Library. He was making a visit to the Special Collections, where his letters were housed. Handsome beyond description. And suave. The entrance there was confusing, and a woman with him had trouble figuring it out. As she entered, Jim Duhamel, the security person (and an amateur actor) said "I think she's got it!" And Rex turned quick to Jim and asked "And where does it rain?" ....Saul Alinsky - did a lecture at Dominican College in Racine ca. 1968. Surprised us - we expected author of Rules for Radicals to look more like Abbie H. I was amazed when I looked him up on Pinterest by the amt of vitriol in his direction that was directed..unfortunately, he is not in a place now where he can meet these folks indivdiually to convince him of his humanity...Floyd McKissick - leader of Congress On Racial Equality on Main St. in Racine one night. I was waiting for bus. He asked me for where he could buy some whiskey. I had no idea. I asked: "Are you Mr. Floyd McKissik?" Chagrined when he looked behind me, and saw whiskey on sale at the Walgreens. Who knew? That was a Prohibition leftover, liquor on sale at drugstores ... TBC

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