Turning Shit into Gold since 2006
Usually when I see a blind person approaching I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. You know, no matter how in the dark they look taping along on their own, I have faith that they will find a way to their destination without a hitch or a stitch. My belief in the blind was reaffirmed yesterday as I followed a dapper guy strolling through downtown with a song on his lips and a gait so suave it caused me to swoon. Frank Sinatra would have invited this guy into his inner circle he was so cool. Blind he may have been but visionless he was not.
His physical features resembled those of Steve Martin. He was dressed like a slightly disheveled Mr. Rogers. A Long Cane was casually clutched in his right hand. It was used more as a microphone than a guidance tool. With percussion like precision, Blind Bob Fosse dipped towards passing pedestrians and in his cruise line croon he would serenade them with a classic tune. The white cane effortlessly danced through his fingertips as he did the old soft shoe down a crowded sidewalk. The showmanship that oozed from this enigmatic emcee was intoxicating. He easily could have strutted across the stage of a pre-war Berlin cabaret in a past life. I am pretty sure Dionne Warwick would have agreed with me on that assumption.
When he wasn’t wooing the crowd with his salty falsetto he was swaying the non-believers with wisecrack ways. Blind Bob Fosse was not simply putting on the Ritz; he was simultaneously juggling a cup of hot coffee with his left jazz hand, gently sipping on the jo in between the audience participation portion of his sidewalk show and the songs. The long cane tantalizingly twirled in his right jazz hand as he enjoyed his tall Americano. He could have told Bing Crosby to go eat shit he was so suave.
As I approached my final destination it was time for this consummate performer to exit stage right. After following him for a few more blocks I reluctantly parted ways right as he began belting Belafonte. Lucky for me, just as I lost sight of Blind Bob Fosse another treasure came into view. Clutched tightly to the statue knee of Willie Nelson was a Harley/Hardy dad. His leather vest-wearing wife proudly looked on at him through her camera lens, snapping shot after shot of a moment not to be forgotten.
Ellyn M. Ussery