Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Los Gatos memories

I live for letters like this one.

It actually came to my 5CP blog partner Scott, who forwarded it to me; I immediately got in touch with the writer, Mark, who (alas!) wasn't able to offer any additional details. But he readily granted permission to publish both his note and the photo he had sent with it.

I'll turn the rest of this post over to him.


In December 2017, I had just finished my annual viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas on a new Blu-Ray set I picked up at Costco, and saw Scott on the bonus feature "making of" documentary. That led me to a quick Internet search, and then your pages on Peanuts and Vince Guaraldi. Both were fun to look through, and are obviously labors of love. 

Mom brought home his Black Orpheus LP after hearing "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" somewhere on the radio — perhaps from the public television special about making the record — and we were both big Peanuts fans. My husband isn't, but he does appreciate the music, so I cut him some slack. (Some.)

In October 1967, my folks took me to the Old Town Theater in Los Gatos — we lived just a short ways away in San Jose, at the time — to see Guaraldi and his combo. For some reason we got there early, and ended up in the front row. Being 15, I was waiting for two songs: "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" and "Linus and Lucy." 

During the intermission, I asked someone on the stage if I could get him to autograph my program; they signed first, and then said Guaraldi was outside the theater, downstairs in a place called The Cellar. It was uncharacteristically bold for me, but — Instamatic in hand — I went looking for him. Found him, too ... and took a couple of snapshots, as he signed my program, which I still have, somewhere. Mom and Dad were both surprised that I'd gone off and done that, and so was I. I even asked if he was going to play "Linus and Lucy," and he said he would. When they launched into it after intermission, he looked down at me in the front row and smiled just a bit. It's a fond memory I'll never forget.

I found the snapshots a couple of years ago, and scanned them. Mom passed in January 2017, but I think of her a lot, naturally ... certainly that day, while watching the special for the first time without her.

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