Vacation Note: Partay


We had a bit of fun last night. Multiple bottles of Cabernet sauvignon were consumed, and not just by me, either.

It all began when we went up to listen to Steve Katz, the really gifted guitarist whom we always look forward to hearing, play what the hotel’s daily bulletin called “Flamingo Music.” We thought we’d listen to him for a while before going in to dinner, which we’d booked for 8:30.

Or rather it all began when the singer called Malcolm and the Roy Davis Band, the jazz trio that followed Steve in the lounge, dedicated a song to us, possibly because we were actually paying attention. And what do you suppose the song was? One that I’ve always wanted to hear sung: “Stella By Starlight.” It’s usually an instrumental. Of course, I caught very few of the words. But it was great fun. I was glad that I’d dressed up: in my coat and tie I felt very grown-up. (A pathetic illusion in more ways than one!)

The second fun thing was not being able to remember Dexter Gordon’s name. What prompted this was the trio’s performance of “Willow Weep For Me,” an old song that seems to be very popular down here — everyone but the classical flutist seemed to play it at some point or other. “Willow Weep For Me” happens to be the one song on the Dexter Gordon compilation, “Ballads,” that Kathleen always used to ask me to skip, in pre-Nano days, because it has a (misleading) bump-and-grind introduction.

Anyway, we couldn’t remember Dexter Gordon’s name. All we could remember was the name of another (somewhat greater) saxophonist, Lester Young. “Lester” put “Dexter” entirely beyond the reach of our ageing brains and squarely within senior moment territory. I had to go to the computer in the lobby, which guests are asked to use sparingly, to refresh my memory. Searching the song title at Amazon did the trick very quickly.

The third fun thing was the Tomato Surprise. So to speak. As I wrote the other day, another wedding party has descended upon the Buccaneer, this one quite a bit larger than last week’s. But who was the bride, and who was the groom? The waitstaff didn’t seem to know, and no happy couple stood out as obvious candidates. So, toward the end of dinner, I walked up to an authoritative-looking gentleman, a few years older than I am I think, who was standing alongside the really lengthy table — it must have seated forty — that ran along the inner arcade. I asked him if he could clear up our ignorance and point out the happy pair. This was the moment of the Tomato Surprise, because when he said that he was the groom, I felt as if I’d sat on one.

That explained the size of the party: between them, he and his very attractive and wholly age-appropriate bride could count fourteen grandchildren among the guests. Eh comment!