Monday, July 14, 2008

AFM Union Local 554-635 Fish Fry

I look forward each year to attending the union fish fry. It is a great time to enjoy good food and fellowship with members of The American Federation of Musicians Union, Local 554-635.

I remember one year, it must have been nearly thirty years ago, when the event was held at Jacobson Park in Lexington. I remember WVLK helicopter traffic reporter Captain Tag Veal, who was a drummer and member of our local, landing his helicopter in the park next to our shelter. The chopper kicked up a lot of dust and resulted in many of us having to secure and cover our plates. That year we were also treated to live music by local jazz legend Duke Madison. I remember hearing him play a burning rendition of "On Green Dolphin Street" on his alto sax that day.

For the past twenty five years or so the annual event has been held at the Shrine Temple in Lexington. Yesterday's gathering was as good as ever. It was great talking with Joel Lovan, Ellis Harkleroad, Dad, Harold Sherman, Angie Ortega, Andrew McGrannahan, Joe McGrannahan, Drew McGrannahan, Reid Harrod, Ronnie Salmons, Merilee Elliot, David Elliot, Bill McGinnis, Ken Schubert, Dave Anderson, Freddy Moore, Forrest Dean, and many others. We enjoyed fish, roast beef, ham, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, and much more.

During conversation with Ellis, he mentioned gigs he had played with the late Dave Parry. Mr. Parry was a longtime performer on June Rawlings' local television show. I recall how much fun I had during my piano lessons with the local celebrity. I never became much of a piano player, but I sure enjoyed hearing him play at my lessons. When I would go into a lesson less than prepared, I would ask him if he knew a particular song. He would then spend half the lesson playing that song for me and then talking about it. I don't think I ever stumped him, as he must have known just about every song ever written!

I don't particularily enjoy paying the union dues each year, but it is certainly a lot of fun going to the fish fry each July. Perhaps I can put in a motion at the next union meeting that we add a barbeque event later in the year.


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