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A Day Out of the Life. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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A Day Out of the Life.

I read the news today, oh boy....

But for the first time in ages, I read it in the pages of The Cornell Daily Sun.

For weeks, I knew I'd be heading downstate today, but I wasn't sure when or how I'd get there until, pretty much, I was already on my way. It was a client who ultimately decided: Emily's boss. I'm now handling something for him, and he wanted to meet with me first thing yesterday on the east side of Rochester. So I did- at around 8:45 a.m.

A check was involved, which had to be deposited to my trust account. The closest place to deposit it short of doubling back, which I knew of fer sher, was on the Ithaca Commons. That was all the excuse I needed to point me in that direction.

Once in and out of the bank, downtown was in early-season WELCOME STUDENTS form, with tents for various service providers and a band playing.  Little was left which I remembered. A long-tenured tenant of downtown was the Home Dairy,  a cafeteria-style restaurant and bakery which dated to the 60s at least and still had a Facebook presence earlier this year. Now, its storefront was still recognizable but clearly not them-


- while the adjacent alley bears a memento to their long-standing presence:





There were two more stops on the Commons, though. Neither was recognizable as their early-80s selves, but both contained memories that needed to be retrieved. One was the longtime former home of our college paper:



I walked up those steps hundreds of times between 1978 and 1981, between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m., bringing Ithaca what was then its Only Morning Newspaper. The rented building eventually got sold and The Sun displaced, finally to a home it owns a few blocks west, but the pull of that place is still strong with this one. I don't think the new landlord has STILL even bothered to repaint or put safety mats on those stairs.

A few doors east, though, was the bigger find. I forget what was there in my time- a drugstore, maybe?- but it's now a funky used bookstore on ground level and an even funkier used record shop downstairs.

I'd heard of them recently. In college and even into Buffalo days, I followed an Ithaca folk band named Desperado. They did some nice covers ("Wooden Ships" and "Midnight Moonlight" still reverb), but they also wrote some nice original material. I had their eponymous album in vinyl and still have a creaky cassette of it, but I wanted more and better. Years ago, I connected with one of their singers (who's gone on to do session and even Broadway work in NYC), who spoke of an elusive mp3 download- but I lost touch. A few weeks ago, I was connected third-hand to another band member who may not even still be alive, but I was tipped off that some of their old records were sold a few years ago to Angry Mom Records on the Commons.

I was there when they opened. And after some searching, I had the one on the left back, as well as the newer-but-rawer record on the right, a vinyl copy signed on the back by all four band members:



Now I just need to find a turntable with a USB port and some mp3 encoding software and I'm good:)

----

I picked up a Sun from a free corner paperbox, and read it while having lunch right off the Commons at Hal's Deli, one of the few still-iconic places from almost 40 years ago that hasn't changed a bit. Five hours later (just as I remember the trip), I was in the Citi Field parking lot. The rest of that story from yesterday will come tomorrow:)
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