Where Did My Brain Go?

Remembering Jayne On Her 2010 Birthday

I try to write about my late wife Jayne on her birthday. I am late this year, because I injured my back last week. I can only sit in a chair for a few minutes.

I try to write about ancient stuff, before our daughters were born. I always wanted to know what my Dad was doing before I was born, and presume that it will interest our daughters, and the thousands of people, who will eventually read this article.

Ancient History

I met Jayne on a 1981 Friday night, at Mickey’s bar, in TriBeCa. Mickey’s closed two weeks after we met, and ironically became a gay heath club. We lived in a large, one bedroom apartment, on Riverside Drive, with a piano, and an eight-foot Brunswick Heirloom pool table in our living room.

TriBeCa was trendy, but it was not expensive at that time. After Mickey’s closed, three of the bartenders (Ace, Gary, and ?) were able to open The Raccoon Lodge, which is still open, two blocks away.

Jayne and I liked going there on Sunday afternoons, when it was nearly empty. We always sat at the far end of the bar, near the pool table, usually with Annie and Rob.

Annie was a thirtyish elementary school teacher, who was friendly with Jayne. Annie lived in a large loft, on the fourth floor of a converted warehouse, that you reached in a manual elevator — it moved when you pulled on cloth covered rope.

I liked Annie, but I did not spend much time with her. I chiefly recall that she sewed her own blouses and skirts, and came to our apartment a few times to play with Jayne’s sewing machine.

What Happened to Rob Anthony?

I enjoyed playing pool with Rob. Rob was a very good player, and also popular with women, partly because of his looks, but mainly, because he was a nice guy. Rob was almost always happy, too.

Rob Anthony looked like a soap star, except for a small bald spot on top of his head, and crow’s feet, around his eyes – from 40 years of happy living. Rob built expensive custom cabinets, in a small basement workshop, just south of Canal Street. But his love was his theater company — I wish I could remember its name.

Incidentally, I would like to know if Rob is still alive, because I could not find him with Google.

Not so incidentally, my back is starting to hurt, very badly, so I will make this quick.

Rob was unhappy one day. He had a sold-out, six-day production, opening in two days, and his piano player, who was the entire orchestra, just broke his arm. I challenged my wife, who always bragged, “I can play whatever I can read, and I can read everything,” to fill in. Jayne took a day off work, to practice, and performed admirably. I cannot recall the name of the play, only that there was a lot of piano background music.

Nevertheless, I can clearly recall, the first time Jayne met Rob at Raccoon Lodge, after her performances. Rob was beaming, and bought us drinks. He removed a small leather notebook from his jacket, and was about to say something to Jayne, when she held up a finger, and said:

Don’t ask me to do that again