Mahi Mahi on the Menu
Remind me to tell you, in case I forget, what Frank Zappa said when he discovered my sister had begun dating a Mexican artist in town in his absence. I'll tell you now, in case we both forget, "Oh .... Reuben ...
" he somewhat sneered as we dined at the Village Grill (oops! naw naw naw, it was at WALTER's, the old Walter's) where they served Reuben sandwiches back then. He was a little jealous, I think.
(Walter's was a hang out for us all, you see, now and again back then You won't believe me, but it's true. That's where Don (the fellow who became Captain Beefheart) was sitting when he saw the crow eat the ice cream. It is true, and I will swear on a stack of Bibles. At that time, Don and I had finished a long hot stroll all the way from the children's wading pool way up on Eleventh Street, through the park away from the children's play area where there was a metal children's merry-go-round (I think that's where some photos were taken) where big crows and ravens always assembled in the summer ... they'd line up along the path on the backside of the tennis court ... black crows a multitude of them and Big Ravens ... on both sides and kind of walk along and follow you as you were walking along .... ("The Birds Is Coming"? The Birds Is Here!) all the way down to Walter's by what would have been Third Street but was called Bonita I think then .... and it was HOT in the summer in the daytime, a long HOT walk! I always read books, like things by James Baldwin where he spelled things out and I discovered words and phrases like "high yeller" and how we (my friends and I) would talk to each other sometimes! about what I'd been reading. Little did I know Frank and Don were in pivotal moments of their artistic development about to find a fuller direction, though at the time I always found myself wishing they were.)
(And while I'm at it here, someone associated with the Kingston Trio and John Stewart once asked me a question if I remembered the legendary ancecdote about Frank Zappa and John Stewart ... who were both in vicinity to me the same time as The Meeting Place existed, and actually we had all graced those floorboards, though one with greater success than the others. Well, I DO! I didn't at the time as I was editing thousands of pages of words for a publication and was a bit distracted with that. But the version of the Streets of Laredo that I had taught Frank was the Kingston Trio humorous version:
(high haunting sad echoing sweet voice of a lonely buckaroo singing to himself as he rides his horse):
"As I walked out on the Streets of Laredo
As I walked out on Laredo one day
I spied a young cowboy wrapped up in white linen
Wrapped up in white linen and cold as the clay
(Historic footnote: He's stumbled across the usual display of a troublemaker who has been caught, then shot or hung and whose coffin with him in it is laid out somehow to act as a warning to other potential troublemakers. Same thing happened to the real Railroad Bill, who was a black outlaw, but became famous in folklore and song as a hero. That's kind of why I sang "Railroad Bill" like the Barbara Dane version. But back to the song ... which given this history and usual presentation is a bit morose)