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Friday, December 30, 2011

NEW YouTube 8-minute Video: If the Crazy Old Dancin' Dude Can Dance in NYC He Can Dance Anywhere--Dancin' Under Grand Central Station

[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:

        http://youtu.be/jF1mYybtJdQ

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.]


THE STORY


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.


                             http://youtu.be/jF1mYybtJdQ


                                                                             

15 comments:

  1. hey dad,
    very interesting stuff. we'll have to go dance sometime so i can show you my moves. i might be a little more chaotic/animated than you, but i also have negative 30 years on you. i was intrigued to see that we both have similar moves where we sort of ape people who pass by. must be channeling from a similar source.
    love tim

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  2. Dear Tim,
    Yeah, I noticed that too when I saw the video, i.e. the lack of animation. That was due to the music, which was very slow and ponderous. At Titanium, I'm VERY animated but I'm sure you'll out-dance me every time due to, as you put it so colorfully, "negative 30 years" (actually "only" 29...at my age, I need to save and savor every year....can't afford to give anything to the Grim Reaper he's not entitled to!).
    It's great to have you home and meet your new lady friend. Also, I'm delighted we've been able to go to my new meditation group at Starr Mill in Middletown. As you know, Bob Vinci aka "TheMeditationMan.org," is most impressed by your ability to go easily into Very Deep Meditation. You and Bob are WAY ahead of me in that department, probably because of all the time you've spent in Buddhist meditation centers in Vermont, Virginia, and Colorado.
    It'd be great to have you dance at Titanium with me some night when you're here, or on subsequent visits if my Crazy Olde Dancin' Legs have not given out before then. When they do, you can visit me, if you're so kind, in The Nursing Home. lol

    Love,

    Dad

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  3. P.S.: Gram (my mom; your grandma) would LOVE to see the two of us dancin' on the same dance floor!

    P.S.S.: I didn't know we both like to "ape" the bystanders and passerbys. Probably mom/grandma did as well!

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  4. just remember that meditation is not a competition. "beginner's mind" is a quality even the most advanced meditators try to cultivate.
    tim

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  5. Let me understand this. You are proud that you essentially stole that tent? Used it for a month and then returned it. A similar action to returning a dress or a suit after you have worn it to an event. Oh and by the way...in the process of returning the tent you outsmarted a 20 something cocktail waitress. Good on you Bob. Your 35 years of trial lawyer experience really paid off. A heist of $250.00.

    You should be proud.

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  6. Dear Anonymous (12-30-11 at 7:55 a.m.),
    I didn't steal anything. I just told her what Elijah told me were the problems with the tent, asked her if the store wanted to examine it, and asked her if my friend could get a refund within the 30-day refund period. She immediately responded that yes, he could get his money back, gave me the money, and I handed it to Elijah.
    Where, exactly, is the theft? The store has a 30-day money back return policy, if the customer is not totally satisfied with the product which he or she purchased. Stores have these policies to remain competitive with other stores.
    For example, LLBean has a policy under which people can return items like work boots which are 45 years old and the sole is worn out. Without any questions, LLBeans will replace the product.
    I didn't outsmart anybody. I just helped my Big bro' to utilize his privilege, extended by Dick's Sporting Store, to return a product within the 30-day period following its purchase. Had the store wanted any additional information about the use of the tent during that period, I would have told Elijah to provide the information.
    Please give me any further insight you have about what was done wrong here, either legally or morally.
    Thanks so much for reading the blog and taking the time to provide your interesting and informative perspective.

    All best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year,

    Bob Dutcher

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  7. "stole that tent? Used it for a month and then returned it....." I read that the tent was defective by leaking most importantly and also not windproof, it sounds like the person using it probably endured stress due to these things as well, they are lucky Bob did not press for personal damages or whatever that would be called. There was nothing stolen here and there was no out smarting either, simple facts alone and justice was served. Anonymous you have severely skewed the facts here.

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  8. Dear Tim,
    Thanks for the useful insight into the meditation process. I'll try to maintain my "beginner's mind" as I continue to meditate.
    Your Comment demonstrates one of the virtues of having smart (now grown) children. They usually know more than the parents do!

    Love,

    Dad

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  9. Dear Eran Nils Redick,
    It's nice to see you Commenting on the blog. You and I have developed a fun friendly repartee on Facebook so it's good to see us branching out into other "platforms." (I hate that word but that's the way the language develops; new words for new situations unknown to Will Shakespeare!)
    As for the return of the tent, I couldn't have made the case more clearly and succinctly than you just did.
    I would not have counselled Elija to seek money damages for problems with the tent, but I do appreciate your thinking about that aspect of the situation, which I had not even considered in my dealing with Dick's.
    I hope you file other Comments on the blog.

    All best wishes,

    Bob Dutcher

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  10. Bob you can justify it any way you want. You know better than to use something for the better part of a month and return it because it has served its purpose. Liars and thieves act in this matter. Or those looking for a handout, similar to the OWS people.

    if you were truthful you would have exchanged it for another model, not used it returned it and stuck the cash back in your back pocket. Yours or your Big bro.

    Again, justify anyway you want. You should be proud of yourself and your newfound clarity and purpose in your life. Good for you.

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  11. Dear Anonymous 2,
    Actually, I wrote the story originally without a goal of trying to justify anything, since there was no need to justify what I did for Elijah. In essence, I acted as HIS representative, as I used to do when I was actively practicing law, to take proper advantage of the store's 30-day return/refund policy. I made no misrepresentations and did nothing illegal or improper under the store's policy.
    The fact I used "charm" in dealing with the sales clerk is also the stuff of everyday human interaction. Nothing unusual or improper there.
    Also, have you actually READ the post. I didn't use the tent; Elijah did. I just helped him exercise his prerogative, under the store's own policy, to return the tent within 30 days and ask for his money back. Had the store refused to refund the purchase price, for any reason, or asked for more information, they could have done so and then Elijah would have had the option of asking to speak to a store manager or suing the store in small claims court for breach of warranty under the Uniform Commercial Code.
    How do you know that Dick's stocked "another model" of the tent? And why is the choice you may have made, to attempt to exchange the tent for another model, a choice which everyone should make? Perhaps in your next Comment you could explain that one to the entire readership of "Bobs blog."
    Also, I never put any of the money "in my back pocket," as you suggest. I gave the money to Elijah, who's money it was.
    Thanks for the not-so-subtle sarcasm that I "should be proud of myself and my newfound clarity and purpose in my life." The caustically-intended remark in no way hurts my feelings because the rest of your Comment is, unfortunately, incoherent and unpersuasive, both factually and ethically.
    Finally, the Occupy Wall Street movement is not composed of people "looking for a handout," as you suggest. In fact, to the contrary, one thing they DO oppose is very rich people getting a handout from the government in the form of excessively low taxes on unearned income, which middle-class taxpayers are not entitled to receive, to take just one example.
    If you are a great fan of Wall Street Investment Bankers, and you also think that such folk are not among those "looking for a handout," why are so many filthy rich bankers content to live by the following credo, at least in practice, if not in what they claim to believe in at their caviar-furnished year-end cocktail parties: "capitalism when we have profits, but socialism when we run our banks into the ground and sustain humongous losses on reckless financial bets"?
    I'm waiting, with baited breath, to hear your considered response to any of these matters.
    Thanks again for reading the blog and posting your fascinating Comment.

    All best wishes,

    Bob Dutcher

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  12. Happy New Year Bob -- I have known you a long time, though I remain anonymous when I comment. You seem more centered - maybe because (in part) you have fulfilled your need to burn off the 'dross' of many years in service to others. Be well..

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  13. Thanks, Anonymous (12-31-11 at 7:28 p.m.),
    I have no problem at all that you Comment anonymously. None at all. I'm delighted you take the time to Comment.
    You correctly intuit that my being more centered is partly the result of a "burning off" process, but it's not the years of service to others which did it, I don't think. I think (without claiming fully to know, since we are all, I believe, mysteries even to ourselves) it's the result of coming to understand that I don't need, or want, to show off, perform, or be the center of attention ALL the time. In fact, I need, and want, to give other people space to do just the same thing as I love to do, i.e. be known, be validated, be aware that others are aware of me (and I, of them, for them).
    Procedurally, I continue to talk about this with my psychotherapist, Raymond Oakes. He likes the concept of "the Third Eye," meaning a psychological faculty of self-observation. The utility of it is that it helps to facilitate consciousness of one's decision-points so that, at important branches in the emotional landscape, one pushes oneself to make conscious, rather than unconscious, choices of how to behave.
    What I did need, desperately, to unload from my emotional life when I practiced law was the incessant demand, EVERY other week, to raise thousands and thousands of dollars to make payroll for a medium-sized law firm. That demand requires enormous drains on one's emotional energy. I used to kiddingly (but there's truth in every joke) refer to that incessant demand as "the money machine." I's so happy to be free of any obligation to feed it.
    Thanks for your astute observation, and your well wishes. I wish the same to you, friend.
    All best for the New Year, and namaste,

    Bob Dutcher

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  14. How amazing is the Internet. Over 40 years ago I lived at 13 Pease Ave in Middletown in a building that does not seem to be there any more. I suppose it was a home that had been converted into a few apartments, rented by Wesleyan students.

    Only once did I ever meet my neighbor, but somehow I remembered his name. And, somehow, here he is on the Internet. Thank god he has loosened up a bit.

    The best to you, dear friend, or at least I have asked you to be my friend on Facebook, and I hope you will accept.

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  15. Oh My God......Dear Bob, I don't right now remember you, and even by the power of free association no picture of your face pops into my mind, but I NEVER forget a face. So, once I finish replying to your wonderful Comment, I will take a look at your Facebook page and hopefully there will be photos of you there which will job my memory. I just accepted your FB Friendship invitation.
    13 Pease Avenue was your address. Susie and I lived right across from Casserino's Moving and Storage, in the green, wood-frame house owned by Jim and Gloria Squarellino. The house next to ours, on the corner, was occupied by Connie Bertuglia and her three beautiful Goddess daughters and her son. Chrissy Greco and her sister lived up the street on Pease Avenue. I still have a pencil drawing of a fantastic dragon-like being done by Chrissy's sister, whose name slips me at the moment but is on the pencil drawing. Chrissy was our papergirl. Susie and I had NO money, since I was a struggling Wesleyan junior and senior. The only way Susie felt she could justify getting The Middletown Press delivered by Chrissy was by cutting out sufficient Stop & Shop coupons to save the 90 cents a week it cost to get the paper delivered to our door.
    We were very happy in that little Italian neighborhood. Somehow, as I sit here at Dunkin' Donuts writing this Reply, a vague form of memory is taking shape about you. Probably the inchoate form of that memory will become choate and highly visible, once I look at your FB Profile and photos.
    Let's be in touch, Bob Hunt. Thanks SO much for writing.

    All best,

    Bob aka the More Loosey-Goosey Crazy Dancin' Dude, thanks be to the gods, or God, depending on your mythology or theology

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