I’m humming (the songs of) Eddie Money as I sip coffee at Caffe Trieste in North Beach, early on a rainy Monday fall morning. “Two fingers of paradise” is a corny headline; as if that’s how much espresso was holding up the foam.
I chatted with a guy named Paul who has worked here for 40 years, though I don’t recall having met him. I sacrificed a dollar to the juke box dogs but nothing played; I meant “gods” but just as i was typing I looked up to see two hounds entering, jonesing for their joe. The songs I imagined hearing were by: Etta James, Dean Martin, Nina Smore, Beale Street Blues Boy.
Maybe it’s just as well it didn’t ruin my Eddie Money fix. Waited so long.
earlier today, before I got to The City, I swung by Soul Coffee in Pacific to see what it looked like darkly.
and1: speaking of Frisco, I took the train yesterday to catch the first set of Adam Theis big band. Then I walked thru SFMOMA and caught part of Windy Chien’s presentation about knots. I bought her book, about the year she spent making knots (as art, not to bind things per se). Windy owned a record store when the rest of us just hung out in clubs; and then sold her ear to Apple for big bucks, or rented it out. And now she is an artist. I noticed not to rag she has 206 hands her own hands in the book, (Compared to GE Wang of Stanford who has that many pictures of his face in his book).
I thought about commissioning Windy to design a couple knots, or licensing them, to represent Scott Amendola, Trevor Dunn and Philip Greenlief. Like for a poster. Or knots. Afraid not.
And the guy next to me mentions John Ralston had passed, at 92. (Eddie Money, Ric Ocasek, John Ralston). In winter, 1984, I was a temporary reporter for the PTT during the 10 weeks that the Oakland Invaders were a thing — the guy at the next table said it made the obit.
Cue danny boy, or candy-o or Mark Kozelek fat cat spitting out hair balls.
1. Chris Strausser, Indianapolis Colts line coach — and my friend since 7th grade, though never a teammate — as told to Alex Valdes of PAW, 1995:
By acquiring the San Jose State job, Strausser not only has returned to the area but has also come full circle in his relationship with Spartan head coach John Ralston, who helped Strausser get the job at Menlo in 1989.
At that time, Ralston was scouting for the Seattle Seahawks and living in Menlo Park. A mutual friend of Ralston’s and Strausser’s introduced the two and they struck up a friendship.
Ralston then contacted Menlo head coach Ray Solari, who had played football with Ralston at Cal, and paved the way for Strausser to get an assistant coaching spot.
“John Ralston is a great guy to work for,” Strausser said. “He’s at that stage where he want to help other coaches get better. He’s a real positive guy, which has been the foundation of his career.”