Ah, But They’re Cool People

Ucrest Music Store in Buffalo New York
Ucrest Music Store in Buffalo New York

A few of the pads on Peggi’s soprano sax were sticking so she took the horn into Shuffle Music on East Avenue so Carl could look at it. Peggi mentioned that the horn is also slightly out of tune with itself. Some people notice that sort of thing. Carl suggested that she call Wally at U-Crest in Buffalo to see if he had any reconditioned sopranos in his Shop. He did and he FedExed out one that day for Peggi to try. This is the way they do things today.

The horn sounded great but the arrangement of the lower register keys was different. Peggi’s hands weren’t big enough to reach them. So she decided to take it back. We were planning on driving through Buffalo on our way to Detroit for Peggi’s high school reunion so thought we would hand deliver the thing. We found the place and hopped out of the car with the horn but couldn’t get in. They’re closed Fridays during July and August just like the sign says. Wally’s got a good thing going here. There was a nice one story brick house attached to the store on the left and a small kidney shaped swimming pool was behind the fence on the right. So we continued on to Detroit with the horn.

The expressways near the border have electronic signs displaying the wait times at the three bridges. Rainbow was only a half hour so we headed there. The cars were backed up for miles. We spent a lot more than a half hour looking at other people trapped in their cars and studying which of the lines were moving the fastest. The roads in Canada which used to seem so neatly maintained and fast moving were all chopped up. The 100 km speed limit seemed slow by NY Thruway standards and we were in a construction zone all the way across the top of Lake Erie. We had heard that the bridge up at Sarnia was less congested than Windsor so we took that route. We waited again for over an hour to get back in the US. We watched Homeland Security search the trunk of the car in front of us.

We drove by Peggi’s old house and then directly to a party in Troy. The people who were hosting the party were both in Peggi’s class. They reconnected a few years ago and got married. There was a band playing sixties music in the backyard. The guys were all from her high school but they looked older than Peggi. “Dirty Water” sounded pretty good. I picked a Mexican beer out of the kid’s swimming pool that had been filled with ice.

Peggi had a blast warming up for tomorrow’s reunion. She called her old friend, Leslie, from the party and we drove over to her house in Royal Oak where we spent the night. Leslie was wearing a Detroit Red Wings t-shirt when we got there. We sat on the porch while she smoked generic cigarettes. There was Doctor Bronner’s soap in the bathroom. In the morning we watched a locally produced horror movie that her son, Casey is in.


4 Replies to “Ah, But They’re Cool People”

  1. carl palmer from arthur brown went on to be with greg lake from king crimson and of course keith emerson from nice, creating one of the first supergroups, el&p, also the byrds then croby stills nash and young. had to be a tough balancing act with all those musical egos, the traveling wilburys probably the last supergroup


  2. This is a surreal experience I recommend to all contemplating a high school reunion. Everyone went around asking, “So who are you?” to each other and slowly recalibrating perception until all was (almost) as it had been 40 years ago.

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