I heard Gail, the deejay say; “I’m playing the next song for my friend Lydia who lives in Manhattan; she’s 91 years old and has a blog called Stillupright.  The song is ‘I’ll Take Manhattan’ sung by Blossom Dearie which my mother in Long Island especially liked.  I hope you’re listening, Lydia.” Yes, I was listening, and I loved hearing this performer singing one of my favorite songs from long ago coming to me via modern technology!
I had first heard Blossom Dearie in the 1960a when a boyfriend took me for the first time to a cabaret in Manhattan. It was a completely new experience. I immediately loved Blossom’s soft and girlish voice singing one jazz and pop song after another.  Now some sixty years later one of her signature songs was being sung for me on a radio station all the way from California.  Another completely new experience in my long life!
  When it ended, Gail said I could go to bed now, because it was about 10:00PM my time.  Little does she know I keep California time!
I don’t know how Gail found my blog, or why, being much, much younger than me, she would be interested about growing old in New York, but I’m glad she did. We struck up a friendship over a year ago after she wrote such encouraging feedback. She seemed to enjoy my essays and would respond immediately after I posted them. I learned that she works on a farm in California where she grows barley for The Elk Fence Distillery, a distillery she and her partner opened in Santa Rosa and where they make whiskey, gin and vodka.  I only found out recently from Facebook, however, that she has a radio program as well.  When I followed up on this, she told me that every other Thursday evening she does a two-hour program entitled “Shorty’s Bunkhouse” in which she broadcasts “bluegrass, eclectic country and hillbilly shenanigans”. Gail wrote that they first started broadcasting in 1999 from a small room in a barn, and that now the station has some 90 programmers broadcasting all kinds of programs from Point Reyes Station, California.
She explained that all I had to do to hear her program was find KWMR on my computer and then type in ‘Shorty’s Bunkhouse’ and it would come on.  She said that she would dedicate a song to me on her next broadcast.  Unfortunately, I was distracted the following Thursday and forgot to listen. I felt awful, but when I wrote to apologize, Gail emailed me back and told me not to worry, her programs are archived for two weeks following the broadcast.  Sure enough, following her instructions, I heard her dedicate ‘I’ll Take Manhattan’ to me and to call me Buddy (no one had ever called me that before, and I loved it).  

               “I’ll Take Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island too,
                It’s lovely going through, the zoo…….”
Yes. I’ll take Manhattan and all the wonderful, completely new experiences life gave, and continues to still give me!    

Thank you, Gail