There are thieves,
preachers, poets, murderers, healers, lawyers, and fundamentalists
everywhere you go. They just wear different costumes, pick up different
props. On my first day in Chattanooga, Tennesee I noticed that there
were an awful lot of waffle houses. I had recently relocated from
Santa Cruz, California, leaving the bedrock of nonconformity for
the very buckle of the Bible Belt. I had decided that I would delve
headfirst into my new surroundings. I wanted to find the real "deep
South," whatever that meant. Thus,
I entered one of these waffle houses, an especially prosaic looking
one, or so I thought....
I was still
feeling kind of blue and decided to drag myself out around town:
dancing, dim sum, and jazz pianist Don Asher were all on my list
of theraputic things to do. I did not believe it was going to make
me feel any better but anything was worth a try. Winter gets me
down. So does a certain lady I know.
At the corner of Polk and Clay they were lined up at the Red Devil's
Lounge to hear the Cheese Balls . Know the place? Black and red
outside, mostly black inside with red lights and a balcony around
three sides facing the stage at the far end. The crowd is "in"
European-American youths with a lot of expensive leather, careful
tattoos, and heads shaved close on the sides....
I am feeling
kind of blue and decide to go for a walk despite ominous gray clouds
I see from my window. Over the years I have noticed that a walk
can cure many problems. I'm quite certain that a lot of psychiatrists
would be out of work if their patients only knew about walking therapy.
I hit the street at Jones, between Sacramento and Clay, and for
a couple of blocks all is well and I'm beginning to feel on the
brighter side. I head up Jones towards the Bay. But then at Jones
and Pacific the rain begins. First there are only a few tentative
drops, then it begins to come down hard. I duck into the entrance
to an apartment building and get out my umbrella. I like rain but
I do not like this rain. It seems mean-spirited....
At first Charlie
didn't pay all that much attention to her. As any man at the bar
will tell you, real hotties arrive in town about as often as real
circuses, and stay about as long. They'll pass on this information
with a shrug, and tell you with a pained smile that there's no use
getting worked up over nothing. But the fifth or sixth time Charlie
spotted her cruising down Main in her sporty, slightly dented convertible,
blonde hair streaming in the wind, her oversize sunglasses lending
her an air of intrigue, he thought this one might be an exception.
He tailed her. "Discreetly, of course. I parked across the
street and gave her time to settle into the crowd at the art opening."
feels good, especially after losing. I have recently been on a losing
streak. But all things come in cycles, even as the lout knows. Faith
tells you and the lout that you've hit bottom and will soon rise
again. And if the cylce is a long one and you fail to detect that
the turning point is imminent, then you can turn to those you like
and enjoy their successes. The lout, the mooch, the deluded idler
do this all the time. Why not you and me? Which is a long introduction
to something you might like to know. Dave
Nepove, head bartender at Enrico's and a guy with one of the most
powerful smiles I have ever seen, won first prize in the Fourth
Annual Chartreuse Competition held at Amante in North Beach. Dave,
like me, is not big on competitions. But ...
Times Bummed in San Francisco
went to see Lennie Bruce perform at his mother's strip joint down
in San Diego, and the sailors who frequented the place would not
shut up long enough for Bruce to do his comedy routine. "Bring
on more tits and ass," they shouted when Bruce appeared on
stage. So Bruce stripped and showed them his behind. Nevertheless,
Enrico decided to give him a try at the Hungry i in San Francisco.
"He was very funny," says Enrico (left). "He wasn't
doing much of the filthy stuff yet." When he did start doing
it, says Enrico, that is when he let him go—"because
I thought it was getting a little too much." Apparently Herb
Caen thought the same ...