Wednesday, 16 July 2008

16 July 2008

cleaned and refused to help. On a little table in front of him he had his bottle of beer and his glass. As we rushed around with buckets of water and brooms he reminisced, “Ah if you could just come with me sometime and drink Cinzano and hear the musicians of Bandol then you’d be living.” Temko was an officer in the Navy; he got drunk and began giving orders. Burford had a habit concerning Temko’s irritating overweeningness; he pointed at him with a limp finger, turned to you with awe and said “Cherry? You think he’s cherry?” Temko paid no attention. “Ah,” he said, “then there’s Normandy in the summers, the sabots, the fine Rhine wine. Come on Sam,” he said to his invisible pal “take the wine out of the water and let’s see if it got cold enough while we fished.” - - straight out of Hemingway, it was. We called the girls that went by in the street. “Come on help us clean up the joint. Everybody’s invited to our party tonight.” They joined in. We had a huge crew working for us. Finally the singers in the opera chorus, mostly young kids, came over and pitched in. The sun went down. Our day’s work over Ed, Burford and I decided to sharp up for the big night. We went across town to the roominghouse where the opera stars were living, also Brierly. From across the night we heard the beginning of the evening performance. “Just right, said Burford. “Latch on to some of these toothbrushes and towels and we’ll spruce up a bit.” We also took hairbrushes, colognes, shaving lotions and went laden into the bathroom. We all took baths and sang like opera stars. Burford wanted to wear the first tenor’s tie but Ed White prevailed with his casual good sense. “Isn’t this great?” Ed White kept saying. “Using the opera stars’ bathroom and towels and shaving lotion.” And razors. It was a wonderful night. Central City is two miles high; at first you get drunk on the altitude, then you get tired, and there’s a fever in your soul. We approached the lights around the opera house down the narrow dark street; then we took a sharp right and hit some old saloons with swinging doors. Most of the tourists were in the opera. We started off with a few extra size Jumbo beers. There was a player piano. Beyond the backdoor was a view of the mountainsides in the moonlight. I let out a Yahoo. The night was on.

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