Thaw Shucks!

Let’s start off with a picture:

Thaws occur in two places, external and internal.  External, as depicted above, are caused by GOD or Nature or The Nature of Things.  However  you look at it, it is deserving of capital letters.  That edge of pond water appearing in the photo above between shore and ice is a true delight right about now.  Our winter, for the first time in quite a while, has been truly authentic.  Cold, snows, clear, crisp light and all the usual man-on-the-street reactions to it.

Internal thawing, in my particular case, has been caused by this man, Lew Brown (seen here with my beloved, Bobbie.)

You’ll notice they’re laughing.  You’ll also notice a feeling of genuine love between them.  You’ll also also notice that it must have been something he said.  You see, Lew Brown says things, and, quiet as it’s kept, if he’s saying them to you (or me, as in the case about to be related) you’d (I’d) better listen.  This time he wrote it in response to a blog entry about 3 back in which I expressed my terror at the idea of writing a book about my home-away-from-home from 1968-1985, the All State Cafe. What he wrote was this:

W.M. Tweed’s/ All State Cafe..listen my Brother now I understand.  Dig “Goldie”, it had too be happening if you hung there like any spot or universe  graced by your presents.  “It won’t be televised”.  Write the book.

The first two sentences–especially “my Brother” are here designed to soften me up.

  • “Dig,” he uses to create historical intimacy.  We do go back to 1956
  • and “Goldie,” my New York street name, which folks back home in Hartford have never used in addressing me to bring that intimacy up to date.
  • Note the “too,” a subtle form of emphasis rather like putting 3 or 4 o’s in good or half a dozen a’s in bad to stress the affirmative
  • and then the pun on presence, the kind of thing I did in the title of this piece and in several others as well.
  • Finally for those of you all old enough to remember Gil Scott-Heron, “It won’t be televised”  refers to the revolution which also, if we are to believe Mr. Scott-Heron, will not be available for viewing TIVO notwithstanding.

Is this man sly or what?

OK, so  here I am reading this and smiling and feeling loved and at ease and then


right straight out of left field without even an exclamation point (call it New England understatement):

Write the book.


OK, so I spent the entire afternoon working on the All State book.  I wrote some notes on organization and expanded my blog entry into what might serve as a first chapter.  I reread the NY Times article on the bar when it closed and another about an alcoholic clarinetist or maybe flutist who drank there.  I thought about the possibility of including some drawings like this one:

or maybe some photos like this one:

I thought about calling Steve Resnick, the owner (I still can’t say former owner) and Glenn Johnson, the All State’s eternal customer, to tell them of what I accomplished.  Then I thought about just throwing it up on the blog to tell my small corner of the world.  Instead I’ve opted for a short tequila and, in a few moments, the next episode of  The Simpsons.


Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This from Duncan Campbell, HPHS ’61

    You’ll need to keep a “fact checker” / copy editor on staff from now on.

    McAslan, Berman,McBride and moi called you “Goldie” back in 1959.’60.’61…….etc.

    History is, of necessity, written by weathered memories.



  2. It may be obvious, but one of my favorite concepts is the old ‘the longest journey begins with the first step’. ‘Write the book’ is way scary, but write a little something is not. Sounds like you already started, so just write ‘a little something’ every so often and like a long bike tour you’ll slowly get somewhere.
    P.S. Goldie is perfect for you! I’ve never really bought into your other more common names, now I know why.


  3. Maybe NOW you will believe me when I also say (and have been saying): write the book!! I know that Lew has been a wonderful soul for you to reflect on/with. Yes, I do love the man (not as in loving you, my sweet, it’s different), and admire his ability to unravel any situation, and cut to the chase. You have a spirit that is amazing. However, it is important for you to see that, to believe it. That is not ego, but true humility. Use it, and WRITE THE BOOK!!


  4. Will there be a musical?


  5. And now something from another memory allegedly sharper than mine own:

    Just read your latest expose, and I am tired or hearing that “Goldie” is your New York street name, and never used in Hartford. You are wrong – or have selective memory lapses. You were Goldie at HPHS, Brown, Car’s Rathskeller, Wooster Pool Hall, Meadows Drive-In, and a variety of other low level establishments. Try to remember – you’re not that old!

    Speaking of Lew Brown, sounds like you met freshman year at HPHS. How, and did the friendship continue through high school and college? I personally did not meet him until my senior year – as my fifth course I took Rocky Gale’s Earth Science class – Lew, Jim Benedict, and myself, became good acquaintances/friends. I doubt that Lew remembers me, but check it out sometime.

    Meanwhile, I hope you have, or have had, a reasonably tipsy/pleasant St. Patrick’s Day – love to all………….jimmy mc


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