Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have a dream
It would not be the morning without my taking a solemn vow that today is the day I get some exercise. So here goes:
Today is the day I get some exercise!
It has been something like a week. I am turning into a schuft! And lastnight I made pork roast and ate it. Including the fat because I am German and I cannot help it. I will have to find out what "Oink" is in German because that is what I am saying today.
And as usual I start my day behind the eight ball.
At midnight lastnight I was still on the phone with the mysterious Mr. Idaho. He is the pianist in Idaho I have become friends with as a result of writing my book about Leonard Pennario.
Mr. Idaho and I have gotten to the point where we speak freely.
"Horowitz was not half the artist that Pennario was," he said once. That is the spirit! Plus it is the truth. I am sorry, but it is.
Mr. Idaho asked for my address because he wants to send me a video of him performing. He told me my address was like something out of a movie. Note to out-of-towners: In Buffalo even our normal addresses sound like something out of a movie. Life here is like that.
I am anxious to see a video of Mr. Idaho performing because I would like to know what he looks like. When I refer to him as the mysterious Mr. Idaho I am not kidding. There is something about him I do not have a handle on. I would like to see what he looks like and one day I would like to meet him, too. Perhaps one day Howard and I will journey to Idaho and we will meet with Mr. Idaho and his girlfriend in front of a roaring fire drinking goblets of red wine. That is what I imagine. I have never been to Idaho but I think that is what people do there.
This all makes me think of a daydream I have.
At Pennario's funeral it was odd, seeing people come to life whom I had known only as names. Now I imagine having a convention of all the people I have talked to for my book. I imagine us all meeting each other, talking about this great artist who drew us together. It would be a surreal occasion!
Maybe we could gather at Big Blue. The inside of the place is not up to it but the terrace is not too bad. The terrace of Big Blue is painted bright orange and red. It has a kind of Spanish look. Once in the summer I had a group of reporters from work over for a happy hour on the terrace. We have actually entertained there.
So that is where we could convene: Mr. Idaho, Pennario's old flame Diane, and Diane's sister Eleana, when she gets back from Antarctica. And we would also have to have beautiful Doris who would flirt with Pennario backstage and once sat all night on Frank Sinatra's lap. And Chuck and Susan from Honolulu, and Pennario's cousin Liz, another person with whom I have long, late-night conversations. And the great cellist Lynn Harrell. And you know who else I would like to invite? The pianist Seymour Lipkin. I had a great conversation with him one Saturday morning when I was in my pajamas drinking coffee. Seymour Lipkin's picture was with Pennario's and 10 other pianists on the cover of the November 1958 Steinway News. They were the only ones in formal white tie.
That is a picture of Byron Janis up above. He was on that cover and he is not wearing white tie! What is up with that?
What about Byron Brown?
Byron Brown could be at the party, too. Seeing that City Hall is right across the street from Big Blue we would be happy to have him.
Anyway, all of us, musicians and non-musicians, old and young, Jew and gentile, gay and straight, would all mix and mingle and enjoy finding out what each other looked like. And we would celebrate this marvelous man, this miracle of nature named Leonard Pennario, who was the center of so much. There would be a rightness about it, all of us gathered in the town of his birth.
I am looking forward to that.