Monday, July 12, 2010

Pizza with Piazza

My friend Greg invited me to go hear Rod Piazza, a harp player. (Harp is jargon for a harmonica.) Rod Piazza plays the blues on his harmonica and is a legend among the blues community. We arrived at Midway, a little tavern in a residential section of Mishawaka, about 40 minutes prior to the music beginning. It was a $20 cover charge and by the time we arrived, it was standing room only. Already about 200 reservations for seats had been taken. Fortunately Greg and I were sitting with Johnny who had a table reserved. Johnny takes photos of the players for Midway. His fine work in black and white is displayed through out the establishment. Just before the music began we had another fellow join us. He had heard Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers in Kalamazoo the night before. He had driven down from Grand Rapids MI, a good three hour drive. He was so appreciative of being able to sit at our table with us that he bought us a couple of rounds throughout the night. Pretty cheap since we were all drinking pop.

The music began and the place became electric. Not only was Rod a fantastic harp player, the rest of the band was each fantastic in their own right. His wife Honey on the keyboards (I didn't know fingers could play so fast), Henri C on the guitar (I love the guitar riffs) and Dave on the drums. Not only did we get to hear Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, we had the pleasure of two additional individuals who joined the band for a song or two. One was Katie Wassenhove the aspiring granddaughter of Albertina the establishments owner. The other was 'Ole Harv' the local Blues DJ and member of Elwood Splinters Band. The granddaughter played the keyboards with Honey and 'Ole Harv' did some vocals.

Well, since my drinks were covered, I decided to buy a pizza to go with them. So, after drinking a few rounds of Diet Coke and eating some pizza, the break in between sets was welcome. I needed to visit the tiny toilet facilities; one urinal and one toilet in a closet. Who did I find myself sharing this refreshing break with other than Rod Piazza himself. A little banter with the man who was behind sunglasses all evening, made the time pass quickly.

I really enjoyed the time at Midway. I'm just wondering though when my ears will stop ringing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Just Another Day At The Beach?

It was a beautiful day today. Almost a perfect day to go to the beach. So thought hundreds of others.

As I age, that which is appropriate seems to be changing. Perhaps we are becoming more like those European beaches. As I age, I also have become more attentive to sunburn prevention. So prior to today's trip to the beach, I purchased a beach umbrella. Good purchase in my estimation. Although it took me awhile to master how to use it on a windy day. At first, I had it full up and the wind caught it and turned it inside out. I finally used only the top half tilted towards the wind utilizing with it loosely inserted in a beach umbrella anchor allowing it to adjust to the wind without any undue strain. It was pretty low to the ground though.

So, here I am sitting in the shade of the beach umbrella in my Speedo and coming toward me is a young female wearing only a floppy hat. I avert my eyes knowing that staring is not appropriate. Just as she passes with the umbrella between her and me, her hat is blown off her head and lands at my feet. Politely I pick up the hat and hold it above my head and above the horizon of the umbrella where it could be retrieved. The hat is taken and I receive a "Thank you" in return. Just another day at the beach.

I affirm that all the facts laid out above are true and I do have witnesses to back up my story.