[Dixielandjazz] Taking the week off...

Patrick Cooke patcooke@cox.net
Thu, 8 Aug 2002 16:19:11 -0500

Charlie wrote:

  >>  Some of you people live in odd places, perhaps like North Dakota only
less so; how do you manage?  Am I borrowing trouble?  Let me hear from any
of you who have an angle on this.  There's more common sense on this list
than anyplace else I know.  So I ask you.<<

    OK Charlie....
         I did about a month in Fargo, then about 2 months in Bismarck in I
think it was early 50's.  This little tour started in April.....there was
lots of wind, lots of snow, and mucho, mucho mud.  Mud everywhere.
       In Bismarck I played at a little club across the river in Mandan,
which was just barely in the next time zone, giving them another hour to
stay open and sell booze before curfew.
          There were some weird liquor laws (everyplace has liquor laws
weirder than the next one).  There was a rule that you couldn't dance in the
same room where the liquor was consumed, so they had the music piped into
the next room where people had to go to dance to the music through cheap
         I was playing bass with a three piece group on a stage behind the
bar in the big room, and my wife was playing piano in the little lounge in
the next room.  We alternated with a band that played a few dixie tunes, and
I played a little trombone with them now and then.
         Our leader/drummer was a basically a pop singer who sang a lot of
(you guessed it) pop stuff, but the piano man was a jazz hound who played a
lot of good stuff.
          The club was just over the county line, and got to stay open when
there was a city election in Bismarck.  We were open all day alternating
with a couple of country western groups.  There were some really good
players in the country groups....some of the guitar players could play some
nice jazz styles with interesting chords.
          In spite of having an extra hour to stay open, the owner of the
club would often fudge on the time...and once he got caught and as
punishment he was closed for a week.  While we were sitting around Bismarck
wondering what to do, a local drummer told us about a 15 piece band that was
going over to Montana for a one-night gig and they needed a bass man. We
were to paid a percentage of the gate.  We had nothing else to do, so we
figured why not?
          Well, we drove over watching the antelope play beside the road,
and got to gig just after dark.  We set up and were ready to play...no one
was there yet.  We decided to do a couple of tunes to warm up.......still no
one there.  It was a really good band....they really swung.  One of the
waiters figured he had an idea where every one was...he jumped in his car
and was back in about 10 minutes.  Every one in town was at a big country
western joint a couple of blocks away.
           We packed up and came home.
          Bismarck did have some nice folks, and a few interesting things to
do...There is a museum at the state capitol with a lot of Teddy Roosevelt
lore, Indian exhibits in Mandan, and fishing at Garrison dam.  I'm a bit of
a history buff, so I enjoyed that...but it is a little short of jazz....any
kind of jazz.   That was 50 years ago...things may be different now....I
hope so.
           ..Pat Cooke

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charlie Hooks" <charliehooks@earthlink.net>
To: "DJML Dixieland Jazz" <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 11:46 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Taking the week off...

> Listmates:
>     Am folding up my half-reconstructed house-project, leaving it to the
> builders who have as yet only wrecked and not rebuilt doodley--well, I
> one brand new bathroom on my 3rd floor, a new kitchen without a sink on my
> second floor, another new kitchen without anything but the floor and wall
> board on the 1st floor: no bathrooms on the 2nd, 1st, or basement levels.
>     This project began last January.  So frugk it!  We are headed for:
> Dakota!  Where my wife is related to all 217 people in the state, "out
> a friend is a friend, where the longhorn cattle feed/ On the lonely jimson
> weed/ And the skies are not cloudy all day."   Well, I seem to have got a
> few different songs tangled up here, but you get the idea.  Out of
> Out of the City.  Out to the great Northwest.
>     There are real people out there!  They are like--well, mostly like
> outback Australians, I think: totally independent, completely
> self-sufficient, raising all their food themselves, fattening and
> slaughtering their own meat, hiring no man to work at anything they have
> time to do for themselves: "You need brain surgery?  Aw, yeah, I think
> doin' that this week. Y'know how to git over there?"  Much like Texas was
> back before the War; before it got overrun with Yankees.
>     We've considered moving out to Bismark, No Dak.  State capital.  State
> library is there.  Beautiful clean small city.  Computers don't care where
> you live.  Bank says my house in Chicago (suburb) is worth $800,000.  I
> buy a much better house in Bismark for just under two grand.  That's
> So, a no-brainer, right?
>     But the music is the Great Problem.  All country-western.  No OKOM.
> classical players, let alone a symphony.  Forget the Opera.  Umm...
>     Some of you people live in odd places, perhaps like North Dakota only
> less so; how do you manage?  Am I borrowing trouble?  Let me hear from any
> of you who have an angle on this.  There's more common sense on this list
> than anyplace else I know.  So I ask you.
>     Will be back on Friday, a week after this coming Friday.  A week and a
> day.  Anybody yelling at me before then, be patient.  I ain't answering
> because I ain't home.  If Gunter and Tommy Loy can get away with it, then
> can I!
> love y'all!
> Charlie
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