More on (not moron) Howard
|Do You Know Any Grateful Dead, Off Of The Europe '72 Live Album??|
"Kentucky Fried Chicken is expensive," said Howard.
"Was it good?"
"I guess it's made exactly the same, weather you get it in Baton Rouge, or in China, eh?"
"Well, in China, it's the best fried chicken" (He was an English teacher there for years)
"They probably start with better quality birds there, up to Frank Purdue's standards..."
"No, I mean that there are a lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken wanna-bes there, but they're all garbage, KFC is the best one, hands down..."
We then got to talking Economics, after he said that he had an undergraduate degree in that discipline.
I wonder if, after his divorce in '87 which he told me about, he set up that trust just to spite his ex-wife and keep the money out of her hands...I wonder if he plans upon dying soon...I'll have to ask him.
Busking Barnes And Noble
But, what does any of this have to do with street music?
We then went to the Barnes And Noble, where Howard went inside and sat down to read from the periodical rack, and I sat in front to busk, nervous about weather the management would leave me alone, as they had done at a Jacksonville, Florida location, back in 2009.
After 10 minutes of playing, a teen aged black girl walked over and said "You sound nice" and put four quarters in my case, on top of the two dollar bill, which I had seeded it with to start.
This was a moral victory, an ice-breaker, and a psychological boost came with the knowledge that I was going to make something that evening. I was playing "You Are So Beautiful," the Joe Cocker song which fits the G harp like a glove.
I continued to play, not seeing a whole lot of people going in and out of the store. I thought I was sounding alright, and was kind of mildly surprised that the few who did pass within earshot didn't throw me at least some change.
My disposition was teetering on the brink of becoming nasty and myself breaking into an improvisation on the theme of "kiss my ass, you rich f***s!" but a little voice in my head said: Stay positive, sound your best, do it for the love of music, be grateful that you don't have to clean oil out of a barge all day for 50 bucks...give them a chance to hit you up on their way out...
I did just that, actually learning some new tricks in different keys on the harp as I went.
A group of three young black kids stood and listened. The oldest, a girl, asked me how long I was going to play for. She wanted to go home and bring back her brother, who was learning the guitar, to hear me play.
Night fell -no sign of her brother, and the parking lot began to thin out a bit.
I didn't see anyone around, but I kept going, trying my hardest.
A college girl (if her LSU shirt was to be believed) came around the thick column which I had positioned in front of me (to disperse the sound left and right rather than out into the parking lot and off into space) and, smiling, put a dollar in my case.
Then, shortly thereafter, anther one did the same.
Then a young man came from out of nowhere and threw a dollar. Then another young lady.
There were six of them, in all, by the time 8 p.m. arrived and the store entered its last hour of operation. I got the idea that they didn't want to stand in front of me to assess my music, in case I sucked and they would have to either feel like they were being rude by just walking off and not tipping; or would tip me begrudgingly to avoid that feeling. They hid out of sight and made their determinations as to weather or not I deserved a dollar, and then approached...I have seen this many times before and I must give it a snigglet-type name.
Let's call it: Obscurvulation (Obs-CURVE-yule-A-shun) verb; the evaluation of a performance from a spot hidden to the performer, as a means of freeing oneself of all karma associated with personal interaction.
Howard arrived at around this time, and with the store only open another hours, I decided to knock off.
After telling him about the 7 dollars that I had made, saying that it wasn't bad, given the amount of people out, he handed me five dollars.
Earlier in the day, he had said "So, you need to make about 12 bucks a day, just to keep going, huh?"
I told him that, yes, over the course of me keeping my "books" over the past 4 or 5 years, that was a reasonably accurate figure. He must have remembered that.
I went to get one more drink after my jam and some cigarettes and still had some bread left over.
We slept behind a restaurant which specialises in craw fish, reminding me of just how little distance we have placed between ourselves and New Orleans, since leaving there 7 days ago.
We were behind a row of hedges, separating us from the parking lot and its lights, at the top of a grassy slope which descended to a pond. The pond had ducks and fountains blasting water up from two different spots. On the other side of the pond was a rather large house, with all kinds of stuff in its back yard, trellises covered with flowers, lawn chairs, and about a 16 foot motor boat. The pond was just about large enough for that.
We both reported having slept well to the sound of the fountains splashing.
I went to Starbucks, where I got a coffee and read some. Howard went to Radio Shack, to get a battery for his hearing aid; which will have the effect of helping me rest my vocal chords a bit.
I talked to a young man who was sitting outside of the Kentucky Fried Chicken, wearing its uniform, after I had checked there to see if Howard was already there (I'm sure he will be there).
He was a black guy of about college age, who had a lot of tattoos, most notably an entire passage from the bible on one forearm. I asked him if he were an LSU student.
|Let's Get Out Of Here And Find Ourselves A Street Musician!|
He told me that there was indeed such an environment and that it was situated around the junction of Highland Street and Tiger's Bend ("LSU" Tigers bend, I assume).
He even told me that there was already a guy who busked in front of a certain restaurant there and had been doing so for a while; inferring that it would probably be alright for me to play in that area tonight, just not at his spot...
So, I will bend my path towards Tiger's Bend, by taking the #47 Highland Road bus, which the tattooed young man indicated as being the one to take.