I didn’t feel like playing the old standards, such as “Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn” and “Tumbalalaika.” Instead I read neo-beatnik prose from my blog.
I was performing at a nursing home. A resident in the front row said, “Play something we know!” and walked out.
My accompanist — keyboardist Alan Douglass — told me to change my act. He said, “The Who went to their greatest hits whenever they faltered.”
I stuck with the blog stuff. I wanted to be like Dylan at Newport — my own man.
Again, bad move.
Afterward, I told my wife, ‘I feel like I just played Sowinski Playground.” (Sowinski was a city playground where vicious rapes occurred in the 1960s.)
I’ve learned my lesson: My Ferlinghetti schtick doesn’t cut it at Myers Apartments–Menorah Park Center for Senior Living. Next time I’ll play “Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn” and “Tumbalalaika.” And I’ll add Ginsberg’s “Kaddish”!
Robert Woodward, who died in June, was a newspaperman, but not the Bob Woodward of Watergate fame.
Robert Woodward worked as a clerk at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He was a tenant of mine.
He signed his lease renewals in green ink. I made it a point to countersign in green. Sometimes I had to go out of my way to find a green pen.
I’m not sure what Bob did at the PD. I occasionally saw him at the movies. He was a film buff. Once we coincidentally flew on the same flight to New York. He was going to see movies. This was before cable TV.
Woodward was a tenant for 37 years. He died at age 65. He had been dead in his suite for about four days. A sister called and said she hadn’t heard from him. The cops went in. Bob’s brother said it was a massive heart attack.
Bob never bugged me, except for new appliances. He never wanted people fixing stuff in his apartment.
In 2010 I got Bob a Hotpoint refrigerator ($499).
Bob was the perfect tenant.
This post is not Bob’s life story! For instance, not covered here: Bob wrote op-eds about gay rights for the Plain Dealer and Wall Street Journal in the 1980s.