By Murray Schneider
On April 13th, neighborhood book and music lovers who set their clocks by Bird and Beckett’s 5:30 o’clock Friday jazz performances were treated to an unscheduled wedding anniversary celebration for Jimmy Ryan, a Bird and Beckett musician, and his wife, Rory.
As Ryan’s quintet’s first set ended, Ryan stepped to the stage apron, grinned at the 50-member audience and explained that he’d met Rory at the bookstore when it was located on Diamond Street. Now the drummer wished to enlist the crowd in helping him acknowledge his and Rory’s fourth anniversary.
“I’ve got some pizza and cake for everyone,” he said, a high wattage smile lighting up his face.
Bookseller Eric Whittington, standing stage left, introduced Ryan’s quintet and announced that during the second set Scott Baker and Val Fachman would take the stage and recite poems by Samuel Beckett, who would have been 106 and is one-half the namesake of Glen Park’s independent bookstore.
Fachman read several poems in French, while Baker translated them into English, a preview of the verse each will perform at the Bindelstiff Studio on 6th and Howard Streets later this spring.
The Jimmy Ryan Quintet regained the stage, eventually ending 45 minutes later with a version of the standard “All of Me,” Saxophone player Danny Grewen laid aside his horn and worked the audience with the vocals.
The evening’s entertainment was far from being over though.
Whittington placed multiple copies of “The Little Book of Terror” on display, preparatory to a Glen Park West Coast release celebration for Daisy Rockwells’s recently published book on the global war on terror.
Whittington looked at the packed house, anticipating the author’s book talk.
“This is a bookstore, after all,” he smiled.