My blog friend, “Dee from Tennessee” mentioned Mary Travers on her facebook wall the other day. This brought memories flooding over my soul, because Peter, Paul and Mary were a huge part of my early-teen-through-adulthood years. My husband, too, loved this trio’s music dearly. But there is one, particular, Mary Travers story that stands out in my mind.
Years ago (maybe 16, 17 or so) my husband and I had to make a business trip to Dallas. At the time there was a restaurant called “Star Canyon” down there that was all the buzz in our hometown because a local businessman was involved in it. It was beyond our usual eating-out budget, but we were determined to go. My husband wrangled us a reservation (and it took some wrangling, but that’s another story)…
We showed at Star Canyon in our finest duds just ahead of our reservation time only to find that there was going to be (sigh) a wait. Nothing to do but sit at the bar, situated so that we could see each person who came through the front door. We liked it—we’d been told to expect to see celebrities, so we were watchful
As we nursed our drinks, I said to CT, “Look! That woman looks like Mary Travers!” Realizing that it was, indeed, Mary Travers (with entourage of about six), my never-shy husband hopped up and ran over to her. I could not hear their conversation, but here he came back, Mary in tow. She plopped down on the stool next to me, and CT ordered her a drink.
We sat there maybe 20 minutes, and she was a talker! She was amazingly friendly, easy to talk to and revealed that she had lived a short time in her childhood in Arkansas! (See how much we had in common?). By the time she left us to rejoin her group, we felt like old friends. She was wonderful!!
But the story gets better…
Small world that it is, the next people we recognized coming through the door were friends from back home. B and his wife S were/are much richer than us (much, much) and knew it. We liked them fine, but there was always a bit of a superior air to them, with all they did and all the places they visited. (Can you say snob? But nice-types….still…).
True to form, as they joined us at the bar B said, “What on earth are you doing here?” (And, yes, his emphasis was just that).
We replied that we had reservations and were waiting on the table. He lamented that he had tried to get reservations and finally got on the LATE wait list (as in 10 pm) but they had come early in hopes they could be squeezed in.
Our table was called, and we sashayed off, leaving B and S at the bar. For a moment…No sooner had I gotten sat down than CT said, “I’ll be right back…”
Let me digress to say this about B: He is not only rich, he is an accomplished musician and a music-of-all-types aficionado…see where we’re headed, here?
I was not actually there to witness it, but it was recounted to me both by B and S and later (with more detail) by CT. Here’s what happened:
CT approached B and S again, saying, “B, come with me. I have someone I’d like you to meet.” Of course, S trailed along.
CT tapped Mary Travers on the shoulder, and she turned, smilingly saying, “Hey, CT! What's up??” He went on to introduce B and S, and Mary was her gracious (very tolerant) self and chatted them up.
Apparently B almost prostrated himself on the floor, saying things like, “Thank you, thank you for your contribution to the world…” To which CT smugly said, “Okay, B, that’s enough, let’s let Mary enjoy her dinner.” (Like he had nothing to do with interrupting it in the first place).
Mary, unwittingly playing her part perfectly, said, “Bye, CT—see you later!” It left the impression that she and CT were old-time friends.
B and S came over to our table, gushing…we definitely went up a notch in their eyes. Not only did we dine at the finest places (at prime time, no less) but we had friends in high places, to boot.
Ain’t God good?
Mary is no longer with us, sadly, gone from leukemia. For many of you, this clip from 1966 will bring back some memories…
…and it may (as it did with me) bring some tears to the eyes… Oh, my, what voices. What Bob Dylan lyrics; my oh my…
And if you did not sing along, well, you’re just an old stuffy pants. C