Sunday, March 22, 2009


My name is Kerry...Kerry Moore. For as long as I can remember I have been known by my nickname-"88". People call me "88" because I can play the Piano. MyGrandmother had a beautiful Piano in the living room of her row house in West Philadelphia. Everytime my sister and I went over to Mom-Mom's house, I would bang on the keyboard...totally enthralled by the keys and the sounds they made. I started out at three years old banging....but by the time I was five, I was picking out songs I heard on the radio and duplicating the sounds I heard. Mom and Grandmom figured that I should take lessons and so I was enrolled at Settlement Music School in Wynnefield and taught how to play the classics.

My Uncle Charlie lived in the room at the end of the Hallway in my Grandmother's house. He had been married to my mother's older sister. he had fought in the Vietnam War and had come home to find out that she had run off with his closest friend. My Grandparents apparently liked him better than they did their own daughter and so they allowed him to live in a room on the second floor of their house. He had an incredible Jazz collection. He introduced me to Charles Mingus and Herbie Hancock and Miles and Dizzy. I introduced him to Sly , James Brown ,Hendrix, Motown, Stax and Philly International. He encouraged my Piano playing and helped me expand my musical vision a lot.

In the Early 80's ,I played my first gigs with a lot of Funk bands and a lot of Hot singers who came to twon and I sat in with the band in a lot of clubs when they needed a Piano player or a keyboardist. Even did some studio work when a gig was available. Today, I play the Organ for
Pastor Struther's Church in Oak Lane and when I'm not there..I play the Piano in the house band at Josie's Bar. I live in an Apartment owned by my childhood friend, Chess. He and Chris
Thompson and I grew up together. Chess's baby's mother, Rell is my first cousin. Chess doesn't
charge me for utilities ...and if I'm late with my rent...He never says anything. I'm lucky to have a friend like Chess.

Gus pays me to play five nights a week at Josie's. I'm pretty friendly with most of the patrons of
Josie's...Kevin, Cock Robbins, Conrad the Attorney,Sean Jackson, Honey Brown, Mabel Jenkins
and Clerow...So it was pretty funny that nearly all of them were in church this particular Saturday dressed to the was I, awaiting the beginning of the wedding between Larry
Brown and Felicia Porter...

The Bride looked stunning in her gown as did her bridesmaids....We were all standing and laughing as all of the people began coming in and sitting down... There was close to 500 people at this wedding...I was sitting at the Organ , waiting to play the wedding march... It was going on
an hour since the wedding was supposed to start and no sign of the groom. After about another
thirty minutes, I got tired of sitting , so I got up and walked outside...I saw Clerow and his wife Cora Beth and their daughter standing around.....Kevin and his new wife Sepia were quietly talking in the hallway...Cock Robbins and his wife Vanessa were just arriving and Paris ,Blake,
Sean Jackson and his girlfriend Sheila were drinking bottled waters and looking at their watches.

Conrad and his wife, Jill walked over to me...

"Hey 88 have you seen Larry?"

"No Conrad, I haven''s going on 90 minutes now.." I said.

"Here he comes now " said Clerow....

"It's about time " said Mabel Jenkins..

"Where's the Pastor?" asked Deacon Weatherford...

It didn't matter , Larry Brown wasn't dressed for a wedding... He had on a Brown silk shirt and
white linin slacks and brown sandals... He was wearing his sunglasses on top of his bald head.
I followed him as he approached his bride...

"Larry, where have you been?" said Felicia.

" Heyyy baby, let me just say first off that you look beautiful...I have never seen anyone look as
beautiful as you do." he said smoothly.

"Larry, where is your tux??? You're ninety minutes late??" she said.

"That's what I come to tell you...I was gonna just drive on to AC and lay low til everything blew over, but I just couldn't do that. I said to myself...Larry? Yo What man? Larry you got to be a just can't run out of town and not tell that girl.." he said.

"Tell me what?" she said...tears running down her face..

"Ah can't do this.....I can't marry you...something you ought to know .." he said.

"Oh my're Gay!!!" she said.

'Whoa..slow down the train there baby...not in a million years..." he protested..

"Then what Larry, what?" she said.

"I been seeing this other girl...Renee Richardson the whole seven years you and I been kickin
it and I can't keep livin this double's just not right...I can't marry you..I thought I could, but I'd just cheat on, look...have a good life and all, I gotta go pick up Renee...She uh waitin on me..we going to Ocean City this weekend."

He didn't get out another word...She kicked him where it hurts a man the most and then jumped on him and began beating him in the hallway....I stood there motionless and stunned as the crowd in the church heard, then saw the fighting and everyone rushed into the hallway...

"At least I was honest aBOUT IT..what you kick me for..owwww...owww. ouuu...." he screamed as he ran for his life to his car...

"My broke my sunglasses...owwww." he yelled...

I ran down the hallway looking for Pastor Struthers...I knocked on the door to his study......

'Ohhhhhhhh.....ohhhhhhh Pastorrrrr...OHHHHHHHH......more....more...."

"You want more girl, you done overloved me."
came the syrupy voice that could belong to only Pastor John Struthers...Who never saw a woman in his church that he could turn away...

The fact that the door was locked told me that even the Pastor got tired of waiting for the groom to show up. I grabbed a bottled water and some peanuts and walked out of the church and walked over to my car....There wasn't going to be a wedding today, but I was still getting paid.

A few hours later, I sat in Josie's Bar with Gus, Honey Brown and Chess....

"I heard they cut up at that wedding over there 88." said Gus.

"Yeah man...the bride and groom got to fightin....they had to call the cops..." I said.

"Yo people is somethin else." laughed Chess.

"Aint they though? Hey Gus...Can I work tonight?" I asked.

"Sure 88...There's a hot Trumpet player comin in from out of town and he probably will need a good Piano player to sit in with his quartet..He got a Guitarist, A bass player and a drummer."
said Gus.

"Cool.." I said. I went and sat at the Piano.....took another sip of my water and played a little tune while Chess silently tapped his fingers on the table in his booth and Honey Brown talked to
Gus, while he set up the bar....

My name is 88...I love what I do.


SLC said...

This sounds like a short story, not a miniseries. Regardless I like it either way, since musicians are always interesting. Hopefully we'll hear more about 88 away from the piano. Kerry sounds like someone intriguing........... on a musical level of course. If the trumpet player ever gets some more ink, can you make him from Paterson, New Jersey?

'til midnight.


Keith said...

@SLC- Oh you're going to see more of "88"..and I've got a big surprise coming in my next installment for long time fans of another charactor of mine. I think I want to try 88 in a series of short stories first rather than a full blown series just yet.

Sean said...

Yet another new charactor? Keith does your mind ever rest???lololol.

Toni said...

I think I like "88"..Hope to see more of him!

Angie B. said...

Cool Nickname!

Sunflower said...

Keith, I really liked this and it was funny as all get up.

Lisa said...

"88", another cool charactor with a cool nickname.

Halo said...

"88" is great, hope to see more of him.

Vanessa said...

A Piano player with a cool nickname. Does he wear sunglasses?

Captain Jack said...

"88" as in 88 Keys....Clever,clever
Mr. Keith. The story was outrageously funny also.

James Perkins said...

Nice Mellow story Keith.

Jazzy said...

Here is a story and a charactor I can really get behind.

Simon Bastion said...

I like "88" Hope to see more of him!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Love the nickname and love the story too.

Tate2 said...

Great charactor and story Keith!
Will we be seeing more of him?

Swaggie said...

I like how all of your charactors interact in some way.