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When I arrived I noticed two chocolate cakes off to the side and learned that a woman had brought them to help celebrate her birthday. How sweet. The club was starting to fill, which it did to standing room only within an hour after the jazz quartet kicked off with a Freddie Hubbard song. It wasn't long before a regular couple showed at the door. I greeted them warmly, letting my severe professional guard down. The Doorman does not need to be robotically stiff at all times I have learned while perfecting the doormanship craft. While welcoming the familiar couple, the gentleman suddenly had a stricken look on his face. I was about to apologize for my out-of-context, informal demeanor, when he said: "My wallet, my wallet. I must have left it at home." He was about to retrieve his wallet when I grabbed his arm and said, "You can't leave... you'll miss too much music. If the bartender can't run a tab, I'll cover for you and we can settle up at a later date." These are a couple of good honorable people, so I knew the risk was nonexistent. Clearly, the bartender was of like mind since the couple settled in for a night of good live music. The club filled quickly with many first time visitors to the jazz club. There was a couple that stood for awhile just beyond the doorway taking in the scene, while mumbling "Wow, wow... I've been looking for a place like this. How could I never know about this? I love jazz. I love this place." The reaction is typical. The club has 100+ year old character. Plus, the beauty and charm is underscored by its unique, location in a hidden-away corner of the city. The couple settled in at the last available hi-top table, while the band lit up the place with a Sonny Rollins tune.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.