September 11, 1994
One cold Tuesday evening, an old woman who lived in an apartment upstairs had died suddenly. So the mood in the bar was more mellow; an awkward but appropriate reverence hung in the air.
A few regulars kept thrusting the guitar at me anyway. Hoping to cut the somberness, I eventually gave in—strumming and softly singing a little rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” It seemed like the right thing to do; I meant no disrespect.
As I moved into a second verse, Aristo began filling in some singing-horn solos: “Oh when the saints” … BOP bidoobity BOP” … “Go marching in” …BOOP bidoobity WAH!” Our new artist-friend Keane grabbed his drum and quietly joined in.
Aristo, meanwhile, began beating his bartop resolutely, as though he had no intention—despite his age—of accompanying his departing neighbor. Like a ramshackle N’Awlins trio, we played on as we watched three men march the body into darkness.