Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Doorman’s Diary: 7.23-24.11

I arrived extra early at the club to give the bartender a warning. My daughter, her new husband, and 18 others would be arriving sometime tonight. She’s turning 23 and they have a rented fully-equipped party bus that will be carrying 2o young, thirsty customers. It will be a quick, kamikaze blitz and then they’ll be off to the next destination. “I’m ready,” he said with an unwavering voice of conviction. A few minutes before 9pm a long bus parked in front of the club and I became Dad-The-Doorman as they piled in and pretty much surrounded the island  bar. I had forewarned a pair of early customers, who were seated at the bar, of the impending arrival. The couple had found the club in their search for live jazz, hailing from a smaller community about 30 miles south of the club. So, I greeted everyone as they came in letting them know that there’s no cover charge in honor of my cute daughter. One of her friends said, “I’ll never forget years ago I had slept over at your house and in the morning when I was leaving you said, ‘Where did you come from?’” I told her the same thing I tell the jazz-loving customers coming to the club, “Remember, I’m just The Dad (substitute ‘Doorman’ for club patrons)!” The party bus left for destinations unknown about 40-minutes after they arrived. The jazz quartet finished their first song of the night just as the last of them left. I had to reassure the band that the club didn’t virtually clear out because of them or the Dexter Gordon song they started with. I could tell they were riddled with self-doubt and teetering on the  edge of the canyon of musician-angst when I said, “Hey, they were enjoying the first song and felt bad having to leave but they were on a tight schedule before the party-bus rental was up.” A few additional new customers had arrived so the band refocused on the night of music ahead. I texted my daughter, thanked her for coming, and told her to have fun—“You only turn 23 once!”

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