Friday, June 12, 2009
"In Brooklyn that day, it was the Liberation of Paris . . . "
My father, who grew up watching the Dodgers play in Ebbets Field, told me about something that happened to a boyhood friend of his. This friend, who grew up to become a classical musician, was taken by his father to the jazz club Birdland in October of 1955 to hear Count Basie and his Orchestra. The Dodgers had just won their legendary World Series against the hated Yankees, and Basie came onto the stage wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap. Then, as he sat down at the piano, all his band members reached under their chairs in unison, pulled out Dodgers caps, and put them on. My father's friend called it one of the greatest moments of his entire life, before or since.
By the way, I noticed on the Birdland website that the great Kurt Elling will be appearing there next week. I wish I could be there.
The quote in the title is by Pete Hamill, who said, "In Brooklyn that day, it was the Liberation of Paris, V-J Day, and New Year's Day all rolled into one." The headline in the Daily News refers to the old Dodgers slogan "Wait 'Til Next Year!"