[Editor's note: If you want to skip right to the 9-minute professionally-edited video of me dancing in the subway tunnel under Grand Central Station, here's a link to the YouTube video:
The title on YouTube is "BOB's Ultimate Adventures." It was filmed on I-pad, edited, and posted on YouTube by Elijah Blue Sanchez aka The Bearded Vegetable. ]
[Editor's note #2: We're SURE Bob's mother, Helen Dutcher, who died in January at 92, would have LOVED this YouTube video of her youngest son hamming it up for the camera in New York. When Helen visited Bob for the first time at Georgetown Law Center in D.C., back in 1975, they toured the (then) new Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In the underground parking garage of the center, Bob's Mom was so excited about the situation that she began tap-dancing to the tune (her voice) of "The Good Ship Lollipop." Bob, Susie, and Bob's Dad were horrified but unsurprised by this outburst of Joie de Vivre.]
Occupy New Haven and Returning The Tent
Sunday night I helped Elijah take down the big tent at Occupy New Haven and hightail it outta the City on the Sound back to calm Middletown. It was Thanksgiving week and Elijah wanted to take a train to Durham, N.C. to see his baby brother at Duke. We loaded up my 1998 Subaru Outback Wagon with the tent and the rest of Elijah's worldly goods and made our final escape from New Haven.
Back in Middletown the next day, we dried out the tent, folded it up as nicely as you can when somebody's lived in it for a month on the New Haven Green, and took it back that Monday afternoon to Dick's in Newington. "Bob, you do the talking when we return the tent." "Okay," I assured Elijah, whom I call ma' Big Bro' even though he's 24 and I'm 61, "lemme handle it. I think I'll be able to get your money back. What did you say was wrong with the tent? Some leaking in the rain?" "Yeah, and not totally wind-resistant," Elijah said to Little Bro' wit' Room to Grow, his pet name for me.
Big bro' had bought the tent at Dick's in North Haven for $250 cash. Fortunately he'd kept the receipt and kept track of how long he'd used the tent. We were one day away from the 30-day return period.
We walked into the sporting goods Dick's franchise on the Berlin Turnpike and plopped the big package on the cashier's counter. It's a large tent, big enough for 4 or 5 campers, so the folded tent, in it's original carrying case, is about 2 feet by 4 feet by 1 1/2 feet high. It has two carrying handles.
The young female cashier asked me what I wanted. "The tent is great but it's not totally waterproofed as advertised and it also lets in a lot more wind than the salesman promised my friend here when he bought it at the North Haven store. The receipt I handed her showed Elijah had bought it at another store in the Dick's franchise family. "Don't I know you from Titanium?" the sales girl asked me. I didn't remember her, frankly, but I immediately acted as if I did and said, "Yeah, that's right. I knew as soon as I saw you I'd seen you before but I couldn't for the life of me remember where." Turns out she was one of the "shot girls" for a while. Titanium Club hires very attractive young ladies, dressed in VERY short skirts and skimpy tops to carrry round trays of shot glasses around the dance floor, filled with shot glasses filled with electric blue or red liquor, and try to sell as many as they can for $3 a shot. Since I drink water when I dance, I don't buy the shots although I've yielded to what I felt was extreme pressure from some of the girls one or two times and given in. This sales girl was NOT one of the girls whose entreaties fell on fertile old ears on my old head, but at this very time I needed something from her: $250 cash in refund for the tent, for ma' Big bro' Elijah.
"No problem," she said, as she fiddled with the electronic cash register and handed me $250 in cold cash, which I in turn gave to Elijah, who had a big smile on his young face. "Thank you," I purred, "and I hope to see you soon at Titanium." She smiled and looked at Elijah, and then back to me, before turning her attention to the next customer. My skills in dealing with strangers in a friendly and relaxed way, which learned and honed as a lawyer over 36 years had come in handy in this transaction. I knew it, Big bro' knew it, and the cashier experienced IT.
Occupy New York and Dancin' Under Grand Central Station
I'd been wanting to go down and get pepper-sprayed in the Big Apple ever since I saw the photos in the NY Times of the protestors getting sprayed at Occupy Berkeley at U Cal. I had no clue the trip would yield no such fun experience, and no clue I'd wind up finding a dancin' gig between the train terminus in Grand Central and the the subway entrance under the central train station in the Big Apple. Fun is the thing which happens when you're trying to do something else. In this case, Big bro' and I were looking for the subway to get down to Wall Street and what I hoped were many of New York's finest, dressed in blue and armed with pepper spray. But the most exciting thing that happened that day was the dancing.
Big bro' was carrying his big bag of clothing for the long Thanksgiving break he was going to take the train to Durham to spend with his real Little bro' with Room to Grow. Elijah also had his trusty I-pad and I-phone, both of which have video filming capability. These features came in handily that late Tuesday afternoon.
Because Elijah got up so late that morning, we didn't get on the train to New York in New Haven until 2 p.m. or so. The train got into Grand Central around 4. We found out what train we needed to connect to below Grand Central to get to Wall Street and bought our subway passes at the machines on the other side of the terminal.
As we walked down into the subway tunnels beneath Grand Central, I heard the Siren Song of a dance band playing. It was a full contingent of drummer, sax, electric guitar, and lead trombonist. A very large crowd had already formed a 3-sided square around the band, creating a kind of stage in front of the band. A Hispanic woman, in her 30's was dancing in front of the band. Two young men were dancing around the rest of the stage. Unable to resist the Siren Sound's Call to Dance, I stepped onto the "stage" and began dancing. Elijah, being a very alert-to-the-opportunity-of-the-moment, took out his I-pad, fired up the video function, placed the device on his suitcase, and began a 30-minute unedited film of me, and at times him, dancing with the young lady on the "stage." The crowd grew larger as the dance progressed. The young men who were dancing when I arrived eventually lost interest and moved on to other opportunities, leaving me to dance with the young woman. Elijah danced for a bit but then backed off and enjoyed the show and made sure the video camera on the I-pad was recording all the action.
Elijah promised me before we parted that night, after participating in a less-than-exciting Occupy Wall Street event, that he would email me clips of the dancing so I could post it on "Bobs blog," for your, my dear readers, enjoyment, entertainment, and amusement. More than a month passed and I had still not received the video, so I sent Big bro' three text messages, "First Petition, Second Petition, and Third Petition," over a period of a week, to encourage him to send me the promised film footage.
Finally, yesterday, the Gift arrived. It was a late, but very welcome, Christmas present from Big bro' to Little Bro' with Room to Grow. Elijah sent it by email attachment. He had edited the 30 minutes of raw video into an 8-minute production, complete with opening title, funny captions along the way, and final credits. There are dissolves, in which one scene is seen to collapse like a falling curtain on the screen, only to give way to the next "curtain" going up with the next scene. I was thrilled with the final product and left a voicemail for Big bro', thanking him profusely for the great video, which he has posted to YouTube, and telling him I'd call him after my thrice-weekly meditation session that evening.
Without further ado, here's the web link to the YouTube video by my Big bro', Elijah Blue Sanchez, showing yours truly, author of "Bobs blog" and the Crazy Old Dancin' Dude, gettin' it down with Apple in the Tunnels of Dance under Grand Central Station in New York City.