Just like I did the night Florence died and the night Seymour died. I wanted to make sure their long-day journey into night didn't disappear with them.
The same with Grassroots. Every pivotal moment I had between 1976 and 1983 until I switched over to girls and coffee shops and the Duchess once in a while.
But after returning to boys and a more solitary existence, there was Grassroots. In a city and a world and in relationships that constantly felt like the rug was being pulled out from under me, Grassroots was the one thing that stayed consistent.
Anytime there was someone I liked, I took them to Grassroots. Anytime there was a crisis, I went to Grassroots. Anytime I just wanted a quiet visit with good friends, I went to Grassroots. And one of the most important conversations I had about how to love a dying parent happened at Grassroots with Kosky.
The visits became more sporadic over the decades as I drank less, worked out more and had less money to blow. But still, as I joked with a young colleague recently, the seats knew my ass from way back. That bar held my life's DNA.
Over three days this past week, I took about 700 photos, and I still didn't capture its core or my love, even after bumping into Jeremiah of Vanishing New York and pouring my heart out.
Found myself telling him stories I hadn't remembered until that moment, could never ever put anywhere but in fiction and describing a certain event that, even while it just about destroyed a part of me, my Yeudi and the guys at the bar - Frazier, Cliff, Eric, Bobby, Mike, Langley - made sure I was O.K. "They had your back," Jeremiah said. Looking back 40 years, I suddenly realized, yeah. They did. In a time women were so rarely protected, I was.
Still, in between reminiscing, I kept snapping.
|Kosky on the right joined in last week to say good-bye|
|Jeremy looking for old photos of old friends|
|Recognize the guys on the left, and that's Frazier and Micky on the right|
But, even if I fell short there, I captured others people's hearts, broken and otherwise.
|The two brothers have been coming here for 20 years - they too had all the big talks at this table or one near by. They always joked: when Grassroots closes, it's the end. We're going to have to move back home upstate.|
On the last night, New Years, I dragged my Mariner aka my lovely husband down to say goodbye. He stood patiently for hours as I took another 370 pictures, hung with the Ancient Mariner aka the best storyteller around, hooted and hollered, became that old barfly that I was at the tender age of under 21 and had a shot of rye - my first drink there in 1976 and now my last. For a couple of hours I was all of me in a way that I had forgotten.
|The Ancient Mariner aka Phil Giambri -best storyteller around and his pal Linda|
|the countdown begins|
|the New Years kiss.... and then...|
We left after midnight and in the new minutes of 2018, I cried all the way to Veselka's.