Chatham College Auditorium, Pittsburgh PA, September 1977

1977, September, Chatham College Auditorium, Pittsburgh PA

I ask my friend David Stock, director of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble:

‘Really? Can I meet him?’

‘Yeah, he’s great. He was in Paris in the 20s with all those people. At lunch today he was saying things like, “And then I said to Erik Satie…” Of course you can meet him.’

Between the rehearsal and the concert, as my musician friends are milling around and the audience files in, David invites me in to the small circle huddling around the short, rotund man in the tweed coat.

‘Mr. Thomson, this is one of our ensemble’s supporters, Kathleen.’

‘Hello, Mr. Thomson, I’m very happy to meet you. Earlier this year we stayed at the Chelsea Hotel in New York.’

‘Did they give you a clean room or a dirty one? They have both.’

‘Clean. Sort of.’

‘Nice to meet you.’

I lean forward and shake his hand.

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