Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tony's 50

Tony turned 50 last week. Valerie will next week. We went to his party in Maplewood. Luminaries like Jorge Martinez, Tony Carr, and Mort Hill were there. Fojammi, Mark Gray, Augustino Patti and others jammed with Tony while his film “Surf’s Up” lit up the room.

Someone said at our age when we see everyone together like this it’s usually a funeral. A few years ago when our friend Tracy turned 50 he talked us all into going to hot springs in the Rockies. When we got back Fojammi confessed that although he couldn’t afford it, he was afraid it might be our last road trip. I think we all felt that way.

Tony and I went to competing alternative high schools. I didn’t realize it at the time but I think his, Metro, was for gifted kids. Mine, Logos, was for druggies with authority issues.

We were intellectual teenagers and we experimented with everything. It was inevitable that we would live together.

When we moved away from each other Tony decided to live under Eads Bridge. To hear him tell it he was homeless and living in a violent world of drifters. I don’t think he was there long and he was always welcome in any of our homes but he made it sound like he was destitute.

Years later he married an Italian girl and moved to Italy. We joked that the marriage would end as soon as they understood each other’s language. Apparently she didn’t tell her folks she was married and Tony had a hard time over there. He tried desperately to stay but when their marriage ended he had to leave the country. (Tony if this isn’t too painful please let me know where I’m wrong.)

Anyway we were all glad to see him come home.

Man, I feel like I have to get all of this down while I still remember.


Tony Patti said...

Though I didn't want to say so before the party, my attitude towards having such a big party for myself was that it would be like the funeral I wouldn't get to see; my own.

The only time we celebrate someone's life is when they aren't around to see it. I was thinking that when I was at Gene Leonard's funeral. So I decided to make one night of my life all about me, and it was pretty hard, since nobody but me seemed to think I deserved it. And I myself got tired of everything being me-me-me all the time more than a week before the party was over.

But it was the best birthday of my life; even better than the time I was supposedly speeding tripping drunk and stoned at the Jack In The Box on Gravois and Russell and I smoked an entire pack of Chesterfield straights. How many bad decisions can a teenager make for one birthday? I know!

The only comment I can make about my marriage was that I didn't have a hard time over there, even though my Italian wife didn't really love me, nor I her. I had a great time in Italy and was really upset when I had to leave. But I'm better off here, I think.

Anonymous said...

i sure wish i could have been there, i got a tooth pulled that friday and they gave me a bunch of vicadins which i had never taken before, turns out i was in no shape to be driving 100 miles or so each way, i hope i can get over there and see some of you sometime. geo

dominic said...

I think Debbie said the night of your party that she hadn't seen this many people from the old music scene gathered together since Carrie Lindsys funeral- but this was so much better 'cause you were still here!

She was right- it was the coolest funeral i had ever been to, P'fessah!

Enjoy the 50's- they ROCK!