The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 March 2005

Just one of those things

Terry Teachout remembers meeting Bobby Short:

Going to see my idol in person seemed to me the perfect way to round out my trip to New York, so I booked a table for one and turned up half an hour before show time, blissfully ignorant of the fact that the Café Carlyle is an elegant watering hole intended for well-to-do New Yorkers, not teenage boys in ill-fitting black suits.

Not being much of a drinker, I decided to consume my minimum by having a late supper at my tiny table. I tore into my shrimp cocktail with gusto, unaware that anything was wrong until I put down my fork, looked around, and saw that no one else in the room was eating. I might well have died of embarrassment had it not been for the fact that Bobby Short, formerly of Danville, Illinois, spotted me for an out-of-towner the moment he walked through the door and came straight to my table to say hello, an act of kindness for which I am still grateful.

Teachout never went back to the Carlyle — didn't want to "disturb that perfect memory," he said — but when you're in the presence of greatness, once is probably enough. And the greatness will be remembered long past Short's death yesterday at 80; the songs he sang and played are standards, at least partly because he sang and played them.

Posted at 7:15 AM to Almost Yogurt

Bobby Short -- a class act, and a wonderful voice. RIP.

Posted by: David at 8:50 PM on 22 March 2005