“Where did I get all these dollar bills?” I thought as I stuffed a handful of money in my jeans and headed off to Wegmans. “And what am I going to go with them?” I wondered, feeling the annoying lump they made in my pocket.
An hour later I had an answer.
I wasn’t going to Wegmans, the upscale supermarket, to shop for food. I was going there to enjoy some music. Wegmans regularly brings local musical artists to its Market Café and last Saturday evening it was “The Classics,” a duo of my friends Debbie Switzer and “Frankie G” Galoardi.
As the name implies, “The Classics” play classics, radio hits of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and a few from more recent years. That’s significant when it comes to what I decided to do with those dollars.
I grabbed a coffee outside the café, which, as it turned out, allowed me to by-pass a long line of people holding trays of food and waiting at the cashier. I recognized most as faithful followers of “The Classics.” Many from West Pittston.
Inside, I spotted Joe Sabatini, the second generation of the famed pizza family, and he immediately pulled out a chair and invited me to join him. A music fan whom I often run into at the Wednesday night open mic sessions at Tony’s Wine Cellar in Pittston, Joe was still on a high from seeing “The Jazz Ambassadors” the night before at the Kirby Center.
No sooner had I sat down when a young man wearing — and I kid you not — a cheese-colored tie featuring slices of pepperoni, came over and asked if the chairs next to us were taken. He was soon followed by five or six others. From their conversation, Joe and I deduced we were now sitting with the Holy Redeemer High School debate team.
The kids were upbeat and fun and oh, so young, and, with “The Classics’” repertoire in mind, I said to them, “I’ll give a dollar to anyone who can name any of their songs.”
To which a young lady blurted out, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
Leave it to me to make that offer while they were playing the one song young people would know. It’s by the band “Queen,” which is having a resurgence after the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody,” based on the life of lead singer Freddie Mercury. I was sure subsequent songs would not be that easy. And they weren’t. Except for Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” which the kids all knew and to which they all sang along.