Somber was the tone of the day for us Fat Folk, here in the Fat Cave. Earlier this week, our long-time friend, Arnie, passed away. His Viewing was this afternoon.
Arnie was a musician with a long and successful history. Yet, we’ll never find any of his work on iTunes nor in any music store.
His career began as a drummer for the USMA Band in West Point. After college, he drifted down the Hudson River and landed in the Big Apple. There, he became a session musician and performed with many bands and musical acts. He was well known among the Apple’s Show Folk.
One day, opportunity came calling. Arnie answered and soon found himself in Tinsel Town working as Babs Streisand’s manager. It didn’t take him long to realize this was no place for him.
So, Arnie loaded up his truck and moved from Beverly, Hills that is. He drove Eastward until he came to Charm City. The City charmed him into staying and putting down roots. He landed a management job with the Charm City Symphony. The Sympony’s move from its old Music Hall into the new Charm City Symphony Center was in part his baby.
Arnie’s favorite style of music was Jazz. He loved to listen to Jazz and he loved to talk about Jazz. But, most of all, he loved to play Jazz music. He was quite the accomplished Jazz drummer. His hands were always in motion whenever he discussed Jazz, just as if he were playing an invisible drum set.
This afternoon, as I walked about the Viewing Room, I saw photo after photo of musicians and other entertainers from Arnie’s bygone past. Some of the faces were familiar to me. All the pictures were personally autographed and dedicated to Arnie. I could see Arnie was well loved for his musical talents as well as his friendship.
Sadly, none of these wonderful people were present, today. Most, if not all, have already preceded Arnie to the Starlight Ballroom in the Sky. Arnie’s coming, time to start the Show!
All alone in a corner of the Viewing Room stood Arnie’s Snare Drum. It looked lost and lonely. I think it missed Arnie’s loving caresses. I noticed there were no drum sticks. I sure hope Arnie took them with him.
One thing I did not see was Arnie! This was one of those Viewings with no body. I wondered where he was.
After this sentimental sojourn down Arnie’s Memory Lane, I needed to sit and rest (am I getting old or am I still not sleeping enough?). I found a comfy-looking wingback armchair and plopped my Fat Butt down. Zzzzzz… I was soon fast asleep.
I dreamed I was in a funeral home, the very same one I was visiting for Arnie’s Viewing. But, I was in a different room. It was cooler and dimmer than the Viewing Room.
I was lying on a cool, steel table. I lifted my head and looked around. All around me lay the bodies of the Dearly Departed – most were dressed and touched up, ready to be Viewed.The others were not quite ready. Arnie was stretched out on a table next to mine. He smiled and waved, them told me I should not be there – snoozin’ with the stiffs. He told me to go back to the Viewing Room before anyone found me there.
As I exitted the Ready Room, I felt something shake me. A voice reverberated in my ear, “Wake up, Fat Man. This is no place to sleep. I’m ready to go home.”
Weird dream! Note to Self: Get more sleep before attending ALL Future Viewings.
Looking good, Arnie! Hope I see you in concert when my time comes.