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My Brush with Greatness

 Once when I was younger and broke in Rochester, New York, I applied for a job as a
bartender in a place called Red Creek.  I wasn’t a bartender—just a guy who needed a job. 

Anyway, after my interview, I was listening to a band do its sound check. 
They reminded me of Django Reinhardt, a famous jazz guitar player from France. 
Django played with the amazing jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. 

When the band took a break, I went up and introduced myself, thanking them for being so
damn awesome. I said, “You guys sound like the band that used to play with Grappelli!” 

The lead guitar player, the Django stand in, looked at me like I was an idiot and pointed to the
back of the bar where, sitting in conversation with the local NPR team, sat Stephane Grappelli himself. 

Again, I waited until he was done with his interview and then introduced myself and thanked him
for all the great music I enjoyed thanks to him and Django. He was incredibly gracious and warm
at my invading his day.  His handshake was surprisingly soft as any I have felt while being strong
at the same time.  All those years sawing on a jazz violin will do that, I guess.  Even as a man in
his late 80’s, Grappelli was out there, like all great musicians, making music and playing music
with all everyone from David Grisman to Yehudi Menuin for his fans. 

He was an outstanding human being.
  Geoff B


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