Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Candles, Closing Times & City Lights

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people.  For a number of years, Lisa Eves was my partner in crime at the Firm.  Technically speaking, she worked for me as my secretary/assistant.  Truth be told, she worked with me - not for me.  Although we have not worked together for quite some time, I am pleased that through the years we have remained good friends.  I say - only half-kiddingly - that had I not convinced my parents that a half-dozen children really was enough, Gracie would be the younger sister that I never had. 

I reckon that this shall be a bittersweet day for her.  Sweet in that she shall be surrounded by those she loves and who love her - including Joe and her mom, Helen.  Bitter in that today is the first birthday she shall celebrate without her dad.  Thomas Eves died in September.  One never outgrows completely being Daddy's little girl.  I am sorry for my friend that she has to experience his absence today.  She is resolute.  At day's end, smiles shall outnumber tears, which is always a good thing.  Happy Birthday Gracie.  Wish big....just not for the damn Orioles to win the AL East.  

Today also marks an era's end.  Maxwell's in Hoboken closes its doors tonight for the final time.  Throughout its tenure on the waterfront in Sinatra's hometown it has hosted a great amount and great variety of music.  Now, however, its song is over.  When the house lights come up tonight and the bartender bellows, "Last Call!" staying there, as opposed to going home, shall not be an option.

I have not been inside Maxwell's in a number of years.  I remember it, however, as if it was only yesterday.   The Missus and I went there on a Friday night in September a few years ago to see one of my favorites, James McMurtry.  We spent the entire show, which he played to a "packed house" of 75 or so people, less than ten feet from the stage.  He closed the night by playing one of Margaret's favorite songs, "Lights of Cheyenne".  At the end of the show as he was packing up his guitar and getting ready to head out for the next night's venue (somewhere in New England if memory serves) Margaret and I briefly spoke to him.  He thanked us for coming to the show.  We thanked him for playing "Lights of Cheyenne" and Margaret explained to him why that particular song held such a special place in the collective soul of our family.  He smiled, shook our hands again and wished us well. 

We did likewise....


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