A glutton for travel, Ron and I and Pete Prizzi headed to Thomaston’s Opera House Open Mike on Friday night. Rain, Friday traffic, Waterbury…. It was slow, but, what the hey?! Folks gathered, Cece and Ruth, Frank, Marty, Lou, and a genuine sit down audience. Seems we’re used to open mike audiences being 90% players. A reporter from the Waterbury Republican (great name for a newspaper in the times…chock full of irony there…) so the open mike may gain some notoriety, though some tightening up is in order.
We were all treated to the return of Bucky, the former patron of this open mike. He’s recovering from a stroke, that could have closed down this venue for players, to say nothing of curtailing his life. I had heard of Bucky – when I first went to Thomaston, it was just after his stroke, and I could tell by the concern in people’s voices that he was dear to the community.
Bucky came in, in his wheelchair, and all my CT friends came up to say hello. Warmth and obvious joy that he was here. Towards the end of the evening, Marty asked Bucky to croon a tune or two, and accepted the microphone. It was great – the boy knows how to sing! and croon, and babababoom with the best. He even did a waltz with Cece, up and out of the wheelchair! Again, obvious affection on the part of all.
I chatted with the final act, Eric, out of NYC. Nice old school (Van Ronk, Gary Davis, John Hurt) picking, and has been active in the Village folks scene for a long time. He had the wonderful opportunity to play with Davis, see John Hurt, etc., and even knew my long-time NY hero, Eric Frandsen.
Pizza and home. Snow’s coming….