We went to a party at Susan Peters' house. Some of you might know Susan Peters, the chanteuse. She sings at Nietzsche's. Anyway, Sue has the greatest apartment, in Allentown on College Street, overlooking Arlington Park. I could not believe the view. I went out on the porch and just stood there and stared. The park looked so beautiful, lined with lanterns and Victorian houses with the moon and the stars overhead. Across the park was the steeple of First Church. And if you looked at the houses next door it was like going back in time. Incredible.
Susan has this beautiful baby grand piano -- Aeolian, was the brand name -- and all kinds of people were taking turns playing. Lounge sensation Guy Boleri played "The Heather on the Hill." That was my request, is why I mention it. Jazz sensation Howard Goldman also played, to great acclaim. The living room full of people went wild.
Then this one woman whose name I never did catch sat down and played Billy Joel songs. At that point I was sitting on the couch next to a guy named Jerry. I do not know Jerry's last name but I do know that he works at Hodge Liquors. Jerry was always keeping a proprietory eye on the wine supply. "I'll go get us more," he kept saying. "Spirits is still open."
Spirits is Spirits of Allentown but it sure goes with the spooky story theme this blog has adopted for the month of October.
I loved what Jerry said when this woman sat down and began playing Billy Joel.
"This is great," he said. "There is a time for Rachmaninoff and there is a time for this."
In other words, as Howard laughed later, a time for Rachmaninoff, a time for rock.
Leonard Pennario would not have agreed with that!
The gingerbread house where Susan lives is home to about seven other apartments. The door downstairs is locked so when you ring the doorbell, what happens is Susan comes out on her pretty little upstairs porch and she hands you down a key on a long rope. Isn't that like something out of the Brothers Grimm? I loved it.
This is also neat: The house was originally built, Susan says, as a dorm for the UB Medical School. That is why the street is called College Street.
Lastnight got me thinking about other Allentown experiences I have had. Note to out-of-towners: Allentown is Buffalo's oldest residential neighborhood, sort of like New Orleans' French Quarter.
Once I worked in a haunted building in Allentown. That was when I worked for Interval International, a vacation time-share exchange service, in the building on Elmwood Avenue near Allen Street where Peter Piccolo used to have his hair-cutting school.
The building was haunted by the ghost of Peter Piccolo. There were sightings, and funny feelings. Peter Piccolo had met some kind of violent end. Now I cannot remember what it was. I tried Googling him just now but all I got was: "Maxwell Davies, Sir Peter. Piccolo concerto study guide.." Not what I was looking for!
We are all getting so dependent on Google. If I can't find something by Googling it I do not know what to do. Does anyone out there know what happened to Peter Piccolo? How did he die? I can't remember.
But I do know this: I would rather hear it from someone out there than from Peter Piccolo himself.