Because I am a Nassau County employee, my Verizon phone plan offers special features. The most relevant one here is my phone’s abilities to receive texts from the dead, and they don’t even have to be Verizon subscribers. I won’t bore you with previous instances of this, except to say that Sophie Tucker goes on and on. One would think she’d never texted before.
This afternoon, my phone gave its special secret tone — somewhere between a canary in mating season and a pelican with its mouth full of fish — and there was a text from ragtime composer and publisher Kerry Mills. I had never heard from Mr. Mills before, but saw that he does subscribe to JAZZ LIVES. (People saying “But he’s been dead since 1948! can go in their room and play with their toys. Or they can perhaps get better phones tomorrow.)
Mr. Mills’s text:
Michael u went to Joplin Festival did they play my rags Kerry Mills
I am writing this post to assure him that, indeed, his most famous cakewalk was played — by musicians who win the cake as far as I’m concerned: Brian Holland, piano; Danny Coots, drums; Steve Pikal, string bass; Marc Caparone, cornet; Evan Arntzen, clarinet. Outdoors, too, and for free, for all the community to hear, which in my book gets them extra credit:
And while I was finishing this post, my phone made its noise again, and I saw these words:
v nice tx to band Kerry
Good enough for me. See you at the meeting, or another location of your choice. “Kerry sent me!” will open the door.
May your happiness increase!