Nora Lenderbee's Stories

You know, when Reverend Borrower and I were dating, he took me to a jazz lounge to see the Charles Mingus quintet. They were quite the thing back then to those in the know.

Anyway, during the saxophone solo I thought Mr. Dolphy looked like he was trying to squeeze one out, and I whispered this to Rev. Borrower. Well, he thought this was very funny and we both started to laugh. Mr. Mingus was a stickler for decorum, though, and he made the band stop so that he could dress us down.

My goodness, you would have thought he was brought up in the French Foreign Legion from the language he used! I have never been so embarrassed, so you can imagine my horror when Mr. Mingus insisted that I come on stage and tell the audience what I thought was so funny! I am not one to shirk my responsibilities, though, so I did what Mr. Mingus asked.

Well, when I told my story the band thought it was so funny that they all started to laugh, and the more they laughed, the more the audience laughed, and the more the audience laughed, the more the band laughed, until they were crying -- all except Mr. Mingus, who was furious!

Thank goodness Mr. Dolphy thought it was funny, and he was laughing harder than anyone, but he couldn't see Mr. Mingus' face. Just then, Mr. Mingus turned around and looked at Mr. Dolphy with his sour look, and this made Mr. Dolphy laugh even harder. He was buckled over and gasping for air, crying and heaving, when he made a sound like the low Bb on his tenor saxophone, except that he wasn't playing; he actually had squeezed one out!

Oh, dear, things were getting out of hand! Well, as you can imagine, Charles Mingus was beside himself with anger, and he fired the entire band on the spot, then he came after Rev. Borrower and me with a broken beer bottle. We hightailed it out of there, jumped into my Nash and sped off. I still like to think of that date from time to time when I am feeling low about growing old, and about the late Reverend Borrower, rest his soul.

Which reminds me, I've got to check my bowl of hard candy. It is getting a little low.