Saturday, November 20, 2010

Time & Lennon

I meant to write something on John Lennon's BD, which was October 9, when he would/should have turned 70. Good Lord. I choose to commemorate his BD and not the anniversary of the great one's death, which I remember all too well. Time got the upper hand and I didn't get around to it, but it still stuck with me enough to think about it some more...

In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life:

Wish I could take the credit for that one, but it's our estimable poet Robert Frost.

Ring the bells that still can ring
forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything;
that's how the light gets in.
--Leonard Cohen.
Also a brilliant guy, in my book.

Lennon, as long-time readers of this blog know, was my favorite Beatle, then George. I am not ashamed to say I love their music more than anything and usually listen to something every day while piddling about the house.

Excy lived in the Dakota for awhile on the condition that he cleaned up the condo so a friend could sell it. His friend had moved back to Texas, and the previous tenant she sub-let it to had been a PIG and it needed a lot of work. Excy had broke his back and had to close his architecture practice in Austin that fall, was newly divorced, and a bit at odds, so the timing was excellent.

His friend's condo was directly above John and Yoko's condo. In fact, the friend had a plumbing problem once and water had dripped onto their piano. THE white piano. This being NYC, Yoko proceeded to contact lawyers to deal with the issue of paying to have the piano fixed. Excy's friend is a lawyer. And she's a nice person. (Sometimes that isn't an oxymoron). One day riding down in the elevator, Yoko got on the next floor, and the friend proceeded to introduce herself and tell her how sorry she was about the leak and how upsetting it was and of course she intended to pay...and started to cry she was so worked up... by the time they arrived in the lobby, they were friends and the matter was resolved without further legal proceedings. All it takes is communication, usually.

Anyway. On the first anniversary of John's death, Excy was riding in the elevator when Yoko got on. She noticed his sketchbook and asked if he was going to the park. He said yes and she asked if he would mind escorting her across the street to Strawberry Fields, as there were a lot of people gathering around the building. So that's how he squired her to the park. He said they didn't talk much.

The Dakota is a pretty neat old Victorian building. I can't really say what style it is; they seemed to have thrown everything at it. It was used to film 'Rosemary's Baby' and has all these queer servant halls and entries. Other residents Excy met while there include Arthur Cantor, the Broadway producer. The guy in the 'Mad Max' movies who flew the airplane (goofy looking guy). Rowan Atkinson before he was well known in the states. And, he heard the distinctive foghorn (or whiskey and cigarettes) voice of Lauren Bacall chewing out the doorman, and said he just had to look.

Excy didn't have much money, so after tossing out tons of garbage he walked to a futon shop to buy a bed and a frame that converted into a couch. It wouldn't fit a cab so he said he tossed it over his shoulder and walked back to the Dakota. The doorman said it was the first and only time a condo in that building would be furnished with a futon! He made arrangements for the frame to be delivered.

Alas, I hadn't met Excy then, so never got to lurk around the halls of the Dakota myself, but I always enjoy his stories.

Back to Lennon: It is forever a shame we lost a musical genius and brilliant light and spirit in this world to an evil wacko. We have far too many wackos and not enough love and brilliance in the world.


e said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Your reading was fabulous, too.

ReformingGeek said...

I really enjoyed this. Thanks for remembering John Lennon.

Traci said...

Your posts always touch me in so many different ways. Most of the time they make me feel warm and fuzzy even while evoking sadness like this post. I've never really thought about which Beatle was my favorite. I think I can't choose, I like them all, I have a fondness for Paul's voice and he is the one I've seen the most in my lifetime. John and George are Alex's favorites as well (he is a huge Beatles fan as well) I cannot wait to read this blog to him, I think he'll like it.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories from your life and from Excy's.

Chris said...

It is one of the saddest truths of our world that beauty is so easily destroyed. I guess that's to make us appreciate it all the more while it is here.

Tam said...

Love, love, love this post, and Excy's history with the Dakota. I remember the day Lennon - one of the world's greatest poets - left us; I was living in England and I don't remember a sadder day in my life. Thanks for sharing!

Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderful post. We really are fragile beings aren't we?
I was huge for George.

marciamayo said...

Paul was my favorite as I was going to marry him, but later I preferred John and George. Poor Ringo. I remember my friend Ann was going to marry George and we made her younger sister marry Ringo. Of course we couldn't marry John because he was already married.