Patrick Plays Chopin

I haven’t touched my piano in months. The tuning is long overdue. I shirk those responsibilities.

Now, while looking for something completely unrelated, I stumbled upon this video, a recording of Patrick playing Chopin from 2014.

He hadn’t touched a piano in several years, perhaps since November 2011 at Jack and Vera’s, yet he was able to sight-read the entire piece. Yes, there were a few minor oops. Yes, the piano was as out-of-tune then as it is now (and it’s not a superb instrument to begin with.)

Still, I’m still amazed that he can look at the dots and lines and squiggles and turn them into something amazing, from something written by a guy who has been dead for over 100 years.

Here’s the video:

Barefoot and Pregnant

Here’s the transcription of a conversation with Patrick about my mom and some other family members, recorded on 18 March 2017 in a very noisy restaurant. If there’s interest, I’ll convert the audio file to YouTube so you can hear it.

Patrick: One of the stories I haven’t really worked on, but I’ve got the title: “Barefoot and Pregnant.”

JP: Okay

Patrick: That’s what John Dillon said when he was introduced to me. Continue reading “Barefoot and Pregnant”

Wolf

Another Patrick story, this one date 26 April 2016.

I also have a recording from almost a year later in which he tells the same story, albeit in a slightly different way.

Constancy in love is not all that common these days. That’s why I am compelled to tell the story of Wolf and Evelyn. They came from Berlin, where they were both school teachers. For more than twenty years they rented one of our cottages, usually for the two weeks of Easter vacation.

They always made the reservation for the next year before leaving, promising to fix the dates just as soon as they precisely knew their school holidays.  They didn’t want any of the other cottages, only number three. When their date arrived we had the cottage ready the way they liked it.  They always requested a single bed at the foot of the double bed. Continue reading “Wolf”

King Leer

You do what you have to do to make a living….. Not one of Patrick’s proudest moments, but something more to add to the long list of things he did to get by. He wrote this in 2004.

I remember Deià when the village was a haven for pornographers.  A burgeoning nest of bohemian writers and painters soon becomes a honeycomb for dope dealers, Don Juans, and other hangers-on. Such was the case by the late sixties and seventies.

To cite a few examples: Michael was a pint-sized Manson type who used his sexual charisma to send his women off to Morocco to smuggle hash and kif into Mallorca; when one of these was busted and jailed, he fled his house down the Clot road, leaving quite a few ruffled birds in his wake.  Another dealer new to the village showed up one Sunday afternoon with a suitcase packed with slabs of dark brown hashish, but his buyer didn’t show, and he had to sell a key for a pittance to get back to Palma and off the island.  And more than one trafficker in acid had graced the village with their dreams; they shall remain nameless, though all residents know who they were. Continue reading “King Leer”

A Reminder of Stephanie

Sometimes we are reminded of loved ones at the oddest times and places.

Shepard Place Shops in Carpinteria, CA

Last Wednesday I drove out to Carpinteria to help a friend cut down a dead tree, to spend several hours turning it into firewood and sawdust.

With chain saws and rope in the back of my truck, I stopped at a nearby strip mall for a phở lunch.

The name of the strip mall, as you can see here,  is Shepard Place Shops.

Stephanie sprang to mind, of course. I imagine she would have appreciated the new trees and fresh growth planted alongside the sign.

Patrick’s First Computer

Conversation from 24 March 2017 in which Patrick describes his first computer while Ivonne makes a delicious dinner in the background. Sadly, you can hear his groans of pain during the conversation. I posted the recording a while ago, which I’ll now delete because this version has the transcription.

JP: [To Ivonne] Smells so good!

JP: [To Patrick:] What, what was your first computer?

Patrick: I didn’t know the name of it. But it had, 40 mega…

JP: 40 megabyte hard drive?

Patrick: Yeah or less. It was 40 something. I bought it in a furniture store. Where that’s the first place they started selling computers. Continue reading “Patrick’s First Computer”

Zenobia, Long Island, Gallilea, and Tampa

This is the transcription of a recording from 9 Nov 2012. It covers a variety of topics. If there is interest, I’ll see about making the recording available via YouTube since it’s too large to post here.

Patrick: Zenobia.

JP: Oh yeah, I was asking about Zenobia, and Lois, and oh, as a pre…

Patrick: Prelude.

JP: Prelude, yes. As a prelude, you’ve given me a lot of these letters from Howard, I’m sorry…

Patrick: Fred.

JP: Fred. I don’t know where I got Howard. I’m thinking Howard Rayon… Anyway, as I read them I’m seeing some letters from Alice as well, and of course there are lot of references to Zen and some others.

Patrick: That was Alice Berridge and her husband was Edmund and they had a daughter. They were good friends in south shore of Long Island. Yeah. That whole teaching bunch that I met in 1968, 1969. Continue reading “Zenobia, Long Island, Gallilea, and Tampa”