Sunday, December 7, 2014

The rain didn't stop 1000 people from going to the Kimmel Center last nite - Zydeco

    It was pouring as Rich Fleisher drove down I-95 to the Kimmel Center.

Ada, Rich and I were going to hear zydeco music and learn how to dance it! The Fleishers' dance teacher would be there, and indeed, they said hello to her on the dance floor.

Rich parked at his brother/law's new condo. 1500 Locust Street. Up and up and up the ramp we went, finally parking on Level S. "We're gonna run out of letters," Rich kept saying as we searched for a parking spot.

The rain continued all night.

Shaking ourselves off, we entered the Kimmel Center and made our way to the Perelman Center. I'd been there in October to see Mark Padmore perform.  I was soaked to the bone at that time.

We had come to take a Zydeco dance lesson, along with hundreds of others, and to listen to the rhythmic zydeco music of The Zydeco Crossroads band.

The fellow on the left plays the washboard while dancing all over the floor.

Here's another photo of Curley Taylor, the accordion player.


Since there was no room on the first floor, the Fleishers and I climbed up the stairs to the third floor.

You know I live in the sedate suburbs. But a whole nother exciting world exists in downtown Philly and for one night, I was a part of it all.

Ada and Rich look over the third-floor balcony.

There were about 20 people sitting near us. We were all up and dancing. Rich said I was easy to dance with b/c I gave him plenty of space.

I felt as pleased as if he'd been

The guy on stage taught us how to dance. Good instructor.... leg out to the side, then behind you.... look I just got up and did it now.

 Roger LeMay, station manager, introduces the band, who will now perform both for us and on the radio. The crowd cheered wildly!

Philadelphia does not sit on their hands.
 The band played two gigs. What energy! I was hot and sweating from dancing.

 Great meeting family friend Jimmy Sutliffe, who works for LiveNation and helps coordinate a lot of these bands.

 Jimmy's a great storyteller and told of meeting the unknown Lady Gaga for the first time. You're gonna be a big star, he told her. Yes, she said, but next time I'm gonna make money.

She has both talent and puts on a great show. Jimmy made that distinction. Let's watch her and Tony Bennett here.

How did Jim get into the biz? He was an intern at Electric Factory, wrote press releases and did other jobs, and they hired him. Electric Factory was later absorbed by LiveNation.

I was so thirsty, I ordered a Pellegrino for $4, plus a dollar tip.

People are filing out from listening to the orchestra. We waited a while, so we wouldn't face too much traffic, as we walked quickly to the parking garage, rain still coming down.

Rich is officially retired as radiologist from Lower Bucks Hospital. His colleagues gave him a lovely gift, a gift card to stay at the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel.

They're thinking of going to New Orleans. 

The Ritz is on Canal Street, one of the famous streets.

Go! I said. You'll love the city. I suggested they take the swamp boat tour so they could see alligators.

Photo courtesy of Ruth Z Deming. Why, thank you, Ruthie!

So, when I drove home from The Fleishers, I turned on the radio - 88.5, WXPN - and who do I hear?

The Zydeco Crossroads Band.

We were there! We were there!

I don't think they heard me.

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