Happy In Bag

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

LeRoi Johnson

Years before LeRoi Johnson became my boss, I bought records from him at Pennylane in Westport. He was far from my favorite guy at the store at the time- my taste in music aligned much more closely with LeRoi's more cordial colleagues including Dwight Frizzell and Saul Tucker. Although I later learned how sweet he was beneath his gruff exterior, LeRoi could sometimes be a real drag.

He taught me many valuable lessons when I went to work for him in the late '80s. LeRoi once overheard me mocking then-popular New Age music. In a stern lecture that left me a little rattled, he explained that the guy who'd just purchased the latest Windham Hill product might derive as much pleasure from a George Winston album as I received from Public Enemy. That's stuck with me. Some of the lessons he taught me were unintentional. Witnessing LeRoi's self-destructive tendencies reminded me that I didn't want to venture too far down that path.

I hadn't been much of a friend to him lately. I visited him at his home a few times and once at Saint Luke's Hospital last year. It's my loss. He had a lot more to teach me.

(LeRoi died yesterday. Scott Wilson's remembrance includes a couple of excellent links.)

Monday, August 22, 2011


It's been a tough August for the area's trees. Some people shed tears when they see an injured cat or dog. I sympathize with trees. This is just one of many cellulose-based life forms that's in a world of pain today.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Smell Smoke

My mouth waters whenever I'm near Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue restaurant on The Plaza. The tantalizing smell of smoked meats is intoxicating. What tickles my nose, however, doesn't necessarily delight my tongue. I couldn't even finish my lunch plate during a recent visit. It smelled a whole lot better than it tasted.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Performance Anxiety

I sympathize with ladies who refuse to wait in agonizingly long lines to use the facilities at concerts and sporting events. The idea of impatient women in men's bathrooms doesn't offend me. The reality was a bit more challenging at Kansas Speedway last Saturday night. The only man in a men's bathroom, I became completely unnerved when several uninhibited women sized me up as I attempted to go about my business.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Riots. War. A market meltdown. What do the people of Prairie Village do when the world is falling apart? Eat out, of course! Today I joined throngs of Johnson Countians who were spending money like there's (literally) no tomorrow at a trendy new restaurant. The amusingly-named Urban Table is good, I guess, but I might never be able to afford to eat there again.