Sourdough Slim and Other Characters

Sweetie and I joined six other aging but still competent Upper Ojai friends for a much-anticipated Sourdough Slim appearance at the Ojai Valley Women’s Club Thursday evening.  But I’ll get to that in a minute.

Recognizing the danger that excess stomach acid can produce when one is running late for the theater, we chose to have an early senior-style dinner at Il Giardino’s, about half a block from the Women’s Club.  Not being a big fan of that particular eclectic restaurant, I had agreed to it while gritting my teeth and expecting the usual combination of poor food and questionable service, topped with a general feeling of grouchiness.

Eight of us were banished to the Devil’s Island corner  of the outdoor patio.  Being the last to pick a seat, I had the pleasure of facing the wall which depicts a painted saga that is desperately in need of renovation by one or more otherwise unemployed Italian artisans.

We also were treated to the added attraction of live music performed by two young men who were oblivious to the hearing afflictions foisted upon elders due to the advanced atomic decibel readings achieved by today’s amplification systems.

Actually, surprise, surprise, the food was tasty, the company stellar and the two young musical aficionados graciously offered to turn things down after several of our party collapsed on the floor pleading for respite.  A good start, I’d call it, and totally unexpected.

Finishing with a flourish and with fifteen minutes to spare, several of our party with space remaining  in their large intestines made a quick stop at Bliss, the local do-it-yourself frozen yogurt eatery, and heaped calorie laden yummies on their already distended stomachs.

Having been clever enough to buy advance tickets to Sourdough’s performance, we entered the Women’s Club ahead of those who were either still enroute or who had the misfortune of thinking that purchasing tickets at the door would give them something other than a seat requiring the Hubble Telescope for a decent view of Slim.

This was the third time we’d attended a Sourdough Slim concert.  A masterful combination of Howdy Doody and Slim Pickens, Sourdough regaled the crowd with cowboy songs, jokes that have stood the test of time, and amusing facial expressions, all topped by a ridiculous ten-gallon hat that is as important to his repertoire as his music.  Accompanied by the formerly famous Robert Armstrong on a variety of instruments including the yet to be universally embraced musical saw, the aging but still standing  Sourdough keeps you rooting for him to complete his performance without suffering a massive coronary.

We picked seats that were close to the stage yet far enough removed to avoid becoming an unwilling part of the evening’s festivities.  I sat on a folding chair that had just enough cushioning to be comfortable for a full twenty minutes before wreaking havoc on my under-stuffed  fanny.  Looking for a comfortable spot to rest on, other than bone, was to be a major part of the festivities.

Two fiftyish party goers arrived and sat in the row in front of us.  Wearing over-the-top cowboy hats large enough to block out the sun, they mercifully sat to our right, out of our visual spectrum but close enough for those with adequate peripheral vision to observe the couple’s own performance that was in competition with that of the Sourdough.

The woman wore a tight red dress, short enough to allow a proper airing of her private parts yet tight enough to allow the substantial hills and valleys of her aging body to attract prying eyes to the various displays of her abundant cellulite deposits.  The man, balding and handle-barred moustached, spent much of the evening prodding and caressing the lady’s abundant flesh.

The lady in red, attired in cowboy boots that could have easily stomped a whole herd of cows, began the festivities by banging her heels to the rhythm of Slim’s music…well almost.  She then progressed to raising both her arms to the heavens, waving them with abandon and providing further evidence of her deepening dementia.  When this failed to draw the attention of those in the far reaches of the theater, she orally fixated us with randomly delivered whooping and hollering clearly intended to alert all, including the paramedics, to her presence.  I began to feel sorry for the lady in red who assuredly had been ignored as a child and, other than for her groping escort, was suffering the same fate as an adult.

The seat in front of me was occupied by a tall man with short legs and a long Yao Ming torso.  His shock of white hair was directly in line with my view of Slim.  Fortunately, the Cardiff Giant look-alike parted his hair down the middle affording me a limited view of the very top of Slim’s ten gallon hat.  I accepted my fate as being payoff for my many sins, and for most of the rest of the evening focused on Mr. Armstrong’s musical saw.

At least no one had a coronary.

sourdough slim

7 Responses to “Sourdough Slim and Other Characters”


  1. 1 myrna April 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    too funny … should have seated the lady and gent near the “barnacle bill” fan (altho we felt slim’s rendition hilarious … sorry, you just had to be there) … we sat on side under the new air conditioner and about froze in our seats, but stayed put never-the-less and indulged in the whole concert which included a few trad jazz pieces (albeit rendered with a cowboy lilt) … immensely enjoyed the saw music which your forgot to mention

    Like

  2. 2 myrna April 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    p.s. … jim is wondering why contemporary audiences feel the need to whoop, holler and scream

    Like

  3. 3 June Behar April 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks, Fred, I’m glad you represented Upper Ojai (Shed and I had LA Phil subscription at Disney Hall that night — drat!) Woman’s Club venue has its oldie charms but seating is not one of them. Bee info is great — thanks for that. Takeaway message to plant flowers suits me fine. Bye, June

    Like

  4. 4 Judie April 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I think? I’m sorry I missed that!

    Like

  5. 5 Sid Cohn April 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I appear at Il Giardino occasionally and I was there last Sat. night. I usually perform for a couple of hours with a short break in between. On that night the audience was so into the music that they wouldn’t let me go. So I accomodated their requests and 4 hours later I begged off. Those are the kind of nights entertainers live for. I’m not sure that was the same experience that you or Sourdough Slim (“with a name like that he’s gotta be good”) had.

    Like

  6. 6 David April 27, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Do these people know where you live? I’m concerned for your safety.

    Like

  7. 7 k June 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Only in small town America can you be this entertained?

    Like


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