Monday, February 12, 2007

Be My Valentine

Most of the morning was spent making some advance calls for San Antonio. I had my first conversation with Granville Coggs and, all I can say is, I can not wait to meet him. Cathy Pottorf, the Senior Games' Director from the Jewish Community Center in San Antonio introduced me to Granville. Cathy's been a great help to me in terms of possible contacts in the area and I'm looking forward to meeting her when I get down there.

The rest of the morning was spent mostly on doing some transcriptions, which means listening to the interviews again. I’ve always enjoyed this process since, in some ways, it feels like I’m meeting the seniors for the very first time. In time, when I hone my interviewing skills, I’ll hopefully feel that way when I’m actually sitting in front of them. That’s when I’ll know I’m becoming a better listener, something I’m working on now in a big way. The fact is, I come from a family of talkers, so if you wanted to get a word in edge-wise, you pretty much had to be always thinking of what you wanted to say, and you had to do it all the time. And, of course, this habit didn't strengthen those listening muscles, since I often found myself busy thinking about what I wanted to say whenever the other person was talking. My simple trick nowadays is to look at the person’s eyes and that signals me to focus on the person's words. Still, when I find myself alone in my room days later, the lights dimmed and able to listen to the recordings over and over again, this is when I'm really able to cull out special thoughts. This is when I'm able to do my very best resource “tapping."

Be My Valentine - Tonight I had a treat. Liz invited me to a Valentine's Day evening show at The Waterford, headlined by Richard Barry. Richard is Mary Francis Hansen's husband and is a well-known performer on the cruise ship circuit. He's also a former member of the group "Looking Glass." You remember the song, "Brandy?" ("'re a fine girl, what a good wife, you would be...") As soon as Liz mentioned this tidbit to me, I started to sing, complete with full orchestration and background vocals, of course.

As soon as I walked into The Waterford, I saw Richard setting up his equipment and doing a sound check. He smiled, and I walked over to him to introduce myself.

“It’s so great to hear a NY accent!” I laughed when I heard that beautiful tri-state sound and Richard laughed. We talked while he worked, sharing stories about the music business, New York City, etc... Richard was immersed in the business when I would have wanted to be in it, during the 60’s and into the 70’s. We had dinner in, what I like dining area set aside at The Waterford for VIP’s, specialto call, the green room, a special birthday parties, etc… Liz joined us and it was a lot of fun hanging out with both of them. I felt right at home and … the food was actually pretty good, I have to say. They eat well at The Waterford.

When the show started, I slipped into a near-by phone booth and became the staff photographer for the evening. Here are a few shots showing the residents enjoying the talents of Richard Barry. I hope to see both Richard and Mary Frances again before I leave for Oklahoma.

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