Sunday 23 September – Day 19 of 30
Steve woke up this morning with a smile on his face. He had enjoyed Irving Berlin’s Deathday party so much yesterday. The songs of the ‘20s and ‘30s were refreshing: uncomplicated, simple, direct, and danceable. He and Amelia had danced to Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Puttin’ on the Ritz, and joined in the chorus of There’s No Business Like Show Business. One big hit song after another.
There was a brief bio in the program, describing Berlin’s early years in a dirt-floor hut in a Russian village and, after the pogrom, a cold-water basement flat on the lower East Side in New York City. By age eight, he was out on the streets earning money for his family, often by singing. During his 60-year career, he estimated that he wrote 1,500 songs, the scores for 19 Broadway shows, and 18 Hollywood films.
Steve was impressed and thought that Berlin really should have been one of the “Think Different’ geniuses—he was truly the greatest songwriter of all time, or perhaps the greatest writer of popular songs, or specifically, the greatest writer of popular American songs.
Steve’s own Deathday event was coming up in less than two weeks. He had a plan, but hadn’t implemented any of it. Today was a good day to start.
First things first. He went to breakfast and asked Julia Child if she would cater another meeting of the geniuses. She had done such a wonderful job at their first meeting. Julia seemed hesitant, asked the date several times, then excused herself to serve other customers, who, Steve noted, had come in after he had. He caught her whispering to Jim Henson before she came back to him and agreed to do his meeting.
Odd, Steve thought. What he didn’t know was that the geniuses were planning a surprise party for him on the same day and they had already asked Julia to cater it. She couldn’t tell him, couldn’t give the secret away, but on the other hand, she knew from experience that Steve would not tolerate a “No” answer. So Julia took the easy way out and said, “Yes, of course, Steve! I will be happy to cater your meeting.”
She and Jim would have to figure out how to handle the situation. Perhaps it wasn’t a problem at all. The two events were on the same day and involved the same people. Maybe they were also at the same time and the same place. She might have only one catering job after all.
Steve left the food tents and continued on to the iTower, where he planned to type out an invitation and make copies. This would be his first visit there since his resolution to stay completely away from the news feeds, from any Earth-related stories of any kind. It would be hard to break the google habit. He knew he had to.
(to be continued tomorrow)