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What was to have been a glorious week of almost wall-to-wallLOOSE MARBLES, was now narrowed down to a mere two hour stint atSpotted Cat (shaved down from 4 hours); and the event I had booked all my travel and lodging plans for:Their first appearance at The New Orleans Jazz Fest, out at the race track! ~~And even that would have to be squeezed, with an air flight to other work, immediately afterwords.

Undaunted,I made the trip to THE ECONOMY HALL TENT. via shuttle bus and a fair amount of foot steps.~The middle section audience was already jam-packed.. I could see variousMarble-kins arriving.. The ever-bright Shaye Cohn was wending her way, leading some of the guys, to the dressing rooms. ~I thought,For a first time on that stage, she certainly looks in charge." Which did not surprise me. ~She has that ability to get business done, while also charming all along the way.. And that's before even mentioning TALENT, of which she has PLENTY!!

Scanning the walk-way from dressing area to stage, I'm in search ofBEN (as in Ben Polcer).. In my ragged 'party purse' wasstill yet one more envelope marked 'Ben Polcer', that was hastily put together in my room, the previous night..These were 'extra copies' of recently composedVIGNETTES..Of course Ben did have 'the originals' ~waiting a week, at his 'drop off spot', but work kept him from 'dropping in' at the 'drop off spot'. ~~Ever casually gracious, (despite the time pressure) he sauntered to where I waited 'at the line'. .. With words of compliment on what he had already read, 'before sleeping last night', he accepted the surprise package, as he did the newer 'viggies', on the night before, saying, "something to read at bedtime".. Which brought a chuckle,not knowing exactly where bedtime would be in a far-off city.. ~~After a quick introduction to his Mother, we all went our separate ways…

My preparation for this performance was to be: finding a spot from whence to view.. Asking along the front rows,and finding no open seats, I quickly decided upon a reverse plan, of going up the middle aisle to the very last row of seats, then turning to STAND RIGHT BEHIND IT..~~Where nothing obscured my view!! ~~They all looked so proper in their traveling clothes, sitting up straight, calmly accepting the cheers and accolades of their audience.. Ben couldn't resist tweaking the crowd,proudly proclaiming, ~"We are a street band!" ~~And soonMichael Magro could be seen slouching a bit in the chair, and showing more than a bit of bare leg, inhis otherwise debonaire attire! ~~The set was SO GOOD!! "Love Songs of The Nile" -I especially treasure; when you might think the ending near, it just kept building ! 'tear in eye' , 'lump in throat' , ~It just kept grabbing with its beauty!! But the ending did have to come~~so I moved down to 'The Line' where artists greet audience.. ~~Hanging back, I watched Michael patientlydealing with fans, one by one, even as fly-away time drew nearer. ~~At last he saw me, walked over and sadly smiled.. As did I.. "We should be on our way already", said he. I replied, "I know, so, just goodbye." ~~He asked if I would be coming again; I murmured something about the fall, and how beautiful "Love Songs~~" was.. We both laughed about it being on 'the next CD', that was never quite done. ~I interrupted, saying, "No, all I wanted was to say: Good-bye, so please go"…~~Nodding, he turned , thenlooked back, with that beautiful smile, that one sees only on rare occasions…

Now there I was in Economy Tent, feeling 'musically let down',
so what could I do to cheer myself up?? ~~I waved down a passing peanut vendor, grabbed a seat near the stage, and shelled-out anentire bag of those deliciousNew Orleans Jazz Fest Peanuts!!!


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