Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Lunch

Today one of the most bizarre things to ever happen to me, happened. And it's something that would/could only happen to a select number of people.

Zaire had his first singing class. I can't really comment on it because, silly me, I thought they would let the parents in to hear and see what was going on. NOT. Hell, for the kind of money that I paid for this class at the college extension, I could have just as easily paid for private singing lessons, which I am considering. But, enough about that for now.

After class was over, we decided to eat at J's Box (that's slang for Jack In The Box here in my part of the hood). However, across the street was this small corner "diner" as that term is generally applied, and I convinced Zaire we'd have more fun at the diner. So ... we go in, get seated, and the first thing that I notice are all the posters and shit on the walls, which are everything from old style movie posters, album covers of old school entertainers, newspaper articles from everything baseball (front page of paper when Jackie Robinson played his first major league baseball game to shots of the atomic bomb parties that used to be held in Las Vegas - where I was born - in mid-40s at least through mid-50s). Then I saw this tiny television, old school, and a black and white show was being aired (obviously a conversion, using a DVD player to show program), and lo and behold, the show airing is The Red Skelton Show. And then I see my aunt, dancing. I can't tell you how quickly I tried to pull out my video camera, all the while (sadly) yelling, "that's my aunt, that's my aunt" and when I finally got the camera up, it was at the end of the segment (and blurry, I forgot to adjust the lense I was in such a hurry). I also took a picture from my cell phone of the tv, and you can at least, clearly see the actor in the following sketch.

For those that have short memories of things I drop on this blog from time to time, my aunt danced in a lot of those old school, 1950's television shows, including the Jimmy Durante Show and the Red Skelton Show. She was always a principal dancer (they generally had three) and would also act in the skits that followed where the "guest star" would do their segment with Red.

Now, I happen to own the DVD set, and I've watched all of them, so I even knew the episode. I met the owner of the restaurant and told him that it was very interesting and weird to see my aunt on the television in a restaurant. He told me that he had always hoped someone would come in and say something like "hey, that's me up there," so I came pretty damn close to that. He asked me where my aunt was today, and I told him she lives in Bejing, and he was, like (pardon my Valspeak), "OMG, I used to live in Shanghai, in fact, I'm going there next month!" So, I promised him that when my aunt returned in January, I would bring her to his restaurant and they can chat.

Here are some pictures from my cell phone, they are so bad, I don't know why I am so pathetic at taking these photos. I really should have used the video camera, which takes better stills than it does video. And the short video is also provided, but I am sorry it is so blurry and I couldn't tell for sure, but I think she was the first couple (guy/girl combo) that went off camera. I don't think she was the dark haired woman in the last frame. Either way, she, in the non-blurry part of the show I saw, was very clear, and it was just really eerie! And, of course, if anyone loved Red Skelton, you can buy the DVD's. My aunt told me that Red said his shows would never be rebroadcast, and they really only recently have begun to be available. She told me after his son died, he really became angry and was a horrible person to work for during the last part of the duration of his shows. I have no idea how they finally got the release, but for me, it was just fabulous when I bought them, and laughed at the hysterically bad choreography at that time (when you compare it to the dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance"). But, to actually just go into a place to eat and then see this up on the wall, that floored me!

She's the first brunette dancer in the black dress.

For Zaire's birthday present, I bought him a karaoke machine from Best Buy (so it's not one of those Hannah Montana kind). It's trippy. You have to have those special CD-G cd's that show the words (I think there is a program you can download to make your own CD-G's). I bought two CD's for him, one from Camp Rock 2, and the other some hits from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyonce, and others. It was fun watching him perform. He had never held a real microphone in his hand, before. It was always a brush, or some other object, like most kids that pretend to sing.


Bob said...

As you know from the East Coast, it is a "diner" not a diner. Diners here are supposed to be nostalgic based on their longevity &, where possible, unimproved appearance.

I kept an "open door, no need to knock" policy when I taught piano. I was, after all, an adult male alone with individual children. I also wanted parents to know my teaching methods, which were relaxed (the studio had stricter teachers if they preferred the type). The boss (my girlfriend) sized up kids & the expectations of parents & assigned accordingly. Sometimes a parent would drop in & sit for awhile, or just open the door & look in. My studio room was the most interesting, for sure. Although I taught only piano, I also had a Farfisa organ, an xylophone, a synth, & a print on the wall of St. Cecilia playing organ with little angels sprinkling rose pedals on her.

Carrie said...

I love old school diners. Very much reminds me of places I ate at as a kid, with the metal and formica furniture, soda fountain, and old school hamburgers, eggs, waffles, etc.

I see your point regarding keeping an open door policy for teaching young kids piano. I really don't like how they want to exclude the parents, and will make my voice known again next week. But, if Zaire really does want to keep singing, I will pay for private lessons instead of going the college extension class route.