Saturday, August 23, 2014

No Matter How Old You Are - You can be a Scofflaw. The Scofflaws play in Northport, LI as the day faded into the Night

8/23/14 19:40

It was a good week.  I learned on Face Book, The Scofflaws were playing in the park in Northport.  The park is pristine, and there is a classic bandstand set at one end of a long field.  The bandstand is the stage which I used to dream of playing with my band (The Few) in front of ten adoring fans.  That was thirty years ago and yet some dreams are so real, but frankly that one is like old stained glass, the allure catches the light whenever if ever shines on it.  So, I live vicariously through my heroes.  We have our poets and performers, and even the thieves who run reckless in the night causing chaos on our sanctified communities.  Yeah, Rude Boys, The Scofflaws were playing.  I even confirmed it with them on FB.   So, for the whole week I conjured up images of stomping in the grass as their ska music filled the night.  There would be a crowd there.  It was a great vision and on top of that, they were hitting the stage at 7 PM.  It meant there was time for the family to get there and home at a decent hour.  We packed ourselves in the minivan and headed out to Northport.  We even found a parking spot in the park’s lot – what are you kidding?  What luck?  We hauled out blankets from the trunk and barely noticed the grey haired couples in their beach chairs, sitting calmly and some eating their dinner and iced teas.  They can watch their show of a barbershop choir or whatever lame music was playing...there...way back there.  Let’s get this started!  There was Sammy with his van.  He looked confused.  Hey, Sammy!  Like I said he looked confused.  We get into the park and look back at the sedated couples on their chairs.  Could it be there?   Way back there?  The spot with the microphones and little lights and what does it say on the chalk board?  The Scofflaws, 7 PM Tonight.  Really? Here?  In front of them? We drove all this way from Port Jefferson.  Deep breath.  Calm…calm thoughts, enjoy this summer night with the family. So, we played in the park, swung on swings which look the same when I was there almost fifty years ago and took pictures, walked on the dock since if you are ever in Northport you must walk on the dock.  The familiar scent of tar, the green oxidized copper caps on the posts, the cracked floor boards and there in the distance is the boat yard that has been in operation for over a hundred years, maybe two hundred and then it was time to head back to see the show.  The kids were not really interested, although Ali and Amanda liked it.  Yes, Emma as well.  Eileen brought her boys down and we bumped into my father’s friends and we caught up.   We are all Scofflaws no matter how old or young you are.  Little kids were dancing.  Couples were twirling and shaking it.  All of this was taking place in front of the park, even the bikers in their black leather were there to see the band; we are all Scofflaws after all.  They played Boots, Daniel Ortega, Batman theme.  By the end of two encores, Sammy was a sweaty mess.  They were playing another gig later that night in Greenlawn; "The rated R version," Sammy said  They always give it their all. Before the night was over I had to get a pint in at Gunther’s.  I wish Frank Dentrone was with me, but he was in Vermont with his family.  Gunther’s is the sanctified establishment which has brought back so many memories, pitchers of beers, cigarette smoke stuck in clothes and hair and the scent washing out the following morning in the shower.  Seeing Vance Brescia and The Eggmen, Cliff Gardner and his wild dancing, Charlie and Chris, cheers Jon…cheers…cheers and I was there.  I drank my beer while my daughters looked at me, making fun of their weird Dad.  They could not understand what old movies were playing in my mind as I looked across the old bar.  May you discover your own phantoms!

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