Winter 2013 - THE POTOMAC

Jazz Great

   Hal Sirowitz

I used to live near the Flushing Cemetery
where Louis Armstrong was buried. I’d
visit his grave. There used to be a golden

trumpet on his gravestone until someone
stole it. Then they replaced it
with a concrete one, almost impossible

to pilfer. Just by looking at the golden trumpet,
you could almost hear his music. I loved
the song “Hello Dolly” and was amazed

that someone could sing that bad and still
have a hit. It was the only song my mother
and I both liked. Usually, when she liked

a song, I’d start to hate it. But his music
helped mother and son relations, because
it could provide a bridge between

the generations. It was too bad it couldn’t
stop theft.  One time I brought a date
to view it. She had never heard of Louis.

She could tell he was famous, since
his grave had the only flowers. Because
she had no idea of who Louis was I knew

she and I were just too different, and it’d
be disastrous to become involved. So I didn’t
take her to my apartment to listen to my

one Armstrong tape. Thank you Louis.
You saved me from grief. It was nice
to have you in my corner, so to speak.

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