Mary Jane and I have been visiting St. Louis for 39 years. Last Friday was our 39th anniversary. We were pleased to be with Ron and Ira Kaye, who are members of our family….And more importantly our dear friends.
Friday just started off grandly, with Mary Jane receiving great news from her doctor. This was followed by a celebratory lunch at our favorite restaurant on the Hill…Cunetto House of Pasta.
Friday evening we enjoyed the Broadway production of Motown the Musical at the Fox Theatre.
This expert performance and outstanding music transported me back to my youth…and the turbulent 1960s…and the Vietnam War.
To hear the performer portraying Dianna Ross or the songs of Marvin Gaye… disbelief was simply suspended…we, the audience, were there…in the moment…with the original performers.
When Dianna sang the Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson song, Reach out and touch (Somebody’s Hand), and began to walk through the audience asking for volunteers to sing with her…racial strife…hate…and all malice was dissolved into a complete spirit of unity and love.
As we exited the Theatre to return to our car…we passed an African American man and a white man arguing in a vehement manner. The African American gentleman appeared to be homeless. I could not help but think that suddenly I was in a different environment than the one that I had just experienced during the Motown performance.
We spent Saturday night at the Cheshire Inn. This is a unique boutique hotel that is of a total English Immersion theme. This includes when driving into the Hotel’s garage you are directed to drive into the facility on the opposite side of the street that we Americans are accustomed to . The thermostat is in celsius. Each of the rooms are named after an English author and there is a book by the author in the room named after him or her.
We were greeted by the most friendly and engaging African American women who made our stay so wonderful. Her ready sense of humor and genuine compassionate spirit enriched our experience.
We enjoyed the most leisurely after breakfast coffee and champagne in the closed English Pub that was adjacent to the front desk. We found the door unlocked and walked in for an hour and a half of conversation and camaraderie…where I am sure we were not authorized to be. The Pub reminded Mary Jane and I so much of our recent visit to the United Kingdom and especially Oxford. When our friend discovered us in the closed Fox and Hound…we asked if it was all right…and she assured us that it was.
As we checked out of the Cheshire, the warmth and affection of our Cheshire Friend….Was palpable. She told her boss that we were her babies…he smiled.
I think that I will try henceforth to ‘Reach out and Touch Somebody’s Hand and make this world a better place if I can.’