Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lucky


This years marks ten years back in Oregon and also, ten years married. My big job when I first moved back here was organizing our wedding and reception. I had a couple of different ideas for the music at the party. Luckily, I went to a dance concert my first month here and found a great band: 3 Leg Torso, who crammed us into their schedule. They play violin, cello and accordion and their CD has interesting percussion tracks. These guys can really play and I think we did very well in having them (not that I could really appreciate it - all you do is talk and say thank you at your own wedding reception).

But for a brief spell there it seemed I couldn't get ahold of them and was having bad luck. I had visions of myself running down to 23rd Street in desperation and grabbing this old cowboy I always saw on the streets. He always seemed to be playing for 50 cents; surely he'd be available. In bad weather he could barely spew out a tune. I could have sworn I saw him back in the old days, when I was here in the 70s. Sometimes he hit his guitar right but most the time he didn't seem to. I remember always thinking you've got to take a picture of him someday. He was a picture, a bit of an old rouge.



Then I found out later that he was indeed a legend. The Clinton Street Theatre hosted a bunch of independent films one evening and one was called Honky Tonk Dirt... about the life of Lucky Buster, who was on the streets of Portland for over 15 years, suffering tonsillitis, alcoholism and a series of unlucky breaks along with an outdoor music career. Turns out Lucky opened for Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard back in the day. Last I heard, he moved to Kentucky and so we no longer see him around. Something tells me that even though some of my guests would not have appreciated Lucky, we could have done a lot worse.

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