Some years ago I got a call while sitting alone in my wood-lined bachelor apartment in Mar Vista , from some guy from new York .
” Your sister gave me your number ,” he said , and I invited him over . Her had gone out with her a few times , I guess . He was staying only a couple of blocks away from my apartment , by coincidence , and he came right over .
I was in the middle of a hot dog omelet and a beer and I asked him if he wanted some .
” I’ll take a beer ” he said , and so we’ve been friends now for almost forty years . He used to come out to L.A. every year , played a few gigs , and pursued a record contract . I’ve visited him in Switzerland and England and once in New York . Ada and I stayed at his place in Brunig , Switzerland , for a few days ; and then we went back to Paris . Ah ! Paris in the mid-winter time ! No thanks . We wondered, freezing back in Paris , why we hadn’t stayed in Switzerland .
Willie is a musician . He makes his living now playing small places , bars , hotels and retirement homes , and he has loyal followers all around . He’s a talented guitarist and folksinger , a good showman with all audiences . And he loves what he does .
And he’s getting married for the first time on Saturday . His bride is part of his act now , in more ways than one , I guess .
I flew out to Connecticut where Willie , my buddy , lives now , for a visit . I’m trying to help him prepare for his wedding . He’s a highly organized flying -by-the-seat-0f – his- pants scatterbrain and he appreciates someone shadowing him in this process , I think , keeping him on schedule . The schedule is really a series of staccato bursts of activity , going here , having to be there by 3:oo , meeting so-an-so by 4:30 , remembering to call this place or that place by 5:00 , etc. , etc. etc.
I saved his flat cap today , at least . He had left it in a shop . I noticed that he was missing his cap and I visualized it on the counter in the guitar shop ; thoght that it might still be there . Yeah , it was there and we got it back . We were waiting for a music p.a. system Willie had bought for the wedding . It wasn’t as easy to buy it as we had thought . Three trips to the store so far and we still don’t have it . Have to wait for it to be shipped to the store . ” Thursday by noon ,” the salesman promised . Yeah . Maybe . I’m not going to hold my breath . But , we got the cap back . Life is good .
My other friend Willie is caring for my house and two cats in Arcadia while I am in Connecticut . Willie always volunteers to take care of the place .
The two Willies were together in Arcadia several years ago . Time passes . Both of these guys play guitar . They played music together a couple of years ago at a dinner party with several of our friends .
To each his own .