Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Doorman’s Diary: 12.10-11.11

When I arrived at the jazz club, there was an early couple sitting across the bar enjoying cocktails. I overheard them say something to the bartender about having a babysitter for the night. Others filtered in so when I did my collection sweep for the $5 covers, before assuming my post at the door, I said to then: Did I overhear that you have a babysitter for the night? “Yes,” they responded and looked puzzled.  In that case, I said, forget about the cover—I’ve been where you’re at and suspect you don’t have enough money or time, so maybe saving ten bucks will help. Shortly there after, a good friend showed up with his two young adult children and their spouses. We had met earlier for breakfast and I had convinced him to come hear Monk, Coltrane, Hubbard, Miles. As the quintet started and my friend settled in with a smile on his face, I looked at the bright faces of the young adults flanking him, I flashed back to breakfast and the response I got from the question I had posed to the equally young and bright-eyed waitress: What are you going to do with your life?  "I want to be a photojournalist." She has a university degree, a mountain of loans to repay, and no career opportunities. “Most of the wait staff, bartenders, and kitchen help are in the same boat—in fact we have enough J-school grads here to start our own newspaper.” My friend’s children and their mates are similarly situated: college grads, in debt, with no clear paths. These 20-somethings comprise what I refer to as the Efed Generation and are at the bleeding edge of the next national financial collapse… tuition loan debt. I put in my request with the band, Play Blue Monk—but not an Oslo 1966 version—play it loud, play it hard, play it to save an entire generation.

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