Rockin' a brown mock turtleneck faux fur vest...and blue flashing sunglasses

  Photo:  Liz, Karen and Boom Boom (in the brown t-shirt behind us)

Photo:  Liz, Karen and Boom Boom (in the brown t-shirt behind us)

Kiss Susan goodbye.  Get into her car.  Take off high heels.  Amaze self as type address into navigation.  Am brilliant techno person.  Never mind about what happened yesterday.

Back up Prius.  Put it into drive and have flashback.  Am 21 driving to meet Liz at the disco.  All spiffed up. Flash forward.

Obey navigator person.  Takes me to Sherman Oaks (am in Los Angeles).  Arrive at Cafe Cordiale.  There she is.  Beautiful smiling Liz who has been my friend since Kindergarten.  With three new friends she's made in the past five minutes.  We all say hi in our black spangly glittery wear.

The hostess is a small white haired coiffed woman named Queenie.  She is dressed in gray with a natty scarf tied around her neck.   She advises Liz and I - in a British accent - that we may follow her.  She parades us to our table.  Then tells us (just so that we know) that dinner keeps them in business.  She's owned the place with her husband for 26 years.  Make sure you order dinner.  She toddles off.  Liz and I bust a gut.

This place is a little supper club that Liz heard about.  Our main goal is to catch up.  Haven't seen each other for a year.

The band is old school R&B.  The lead singer comes out.  Liz has warned me he's not that great.  She checked out a youtube clip.  Actually, he is really good.  But we are distracted by his clothing.  He's wearing what looks like a jacket made out of a shiny brocade table cloth.  Gawdy beyond belief.  Liz says - are those pants purple?  Why yes they are.  We giggle through two songs and then he leaves briefly.  Returns wearing a black bolero style short jacket over a white shirt opened midway down tucked inside a pair of black pants fastened with a wide rhinestone belt.   We giggle more.

But we also notice something.  This man  is focused on one thing.  Entertaining.  He laughs at himself.  He engages the audience.  He is warm, relaxed and oh so fun.  He brings one of the bartenders up to sing.  She's not bad.  He brings the other bartender up - even better.  The crowd is on its feet.  He brings up the young blind man sitting at the table next to us (with his mother) who sings "This Masquerade" by George Benson.  The crowd is clapping and hollering.

Finally the band takes a break.  Liz has been trying to figure out who the guy is sitting behind us.  It finally comes to her.  It is Freddy "Boom Boom" Washington from the old t.v. show Welcome Back Mr. Kotter.   If my kids are reading this blog they have no idea what I'm talking about.

Band comes back.  We are going to leave but not before we see what the singer's next costume is.  Liz starts pointing.  What...I see this thing hunched over.  And up it pops.  It is our singer.  Now wearing a brown faux fur mock turtle neck vest with blue flashing sun glasses.  He starts rapping In Da Club and everyone has now popped out of their seat and is dancing.

I can't stop smiling.  It is such a joyous place.   Liz and I get up.  We're dancing by our table and Boom Boom, and the young blind man, and another woman who becomes Liz's newest friend.  Liz asks her how many outfit changes our singer will go through total.  The answer is four.  And sure enough.  He leaves and returns this time in a white sweat suit with a white band around his bald head.  Laughing and being not-cool and all of us loving every minute of it.

We shake our groove thing until there's another break in the action.  Then Liz and I put on our jackets, grab our purses, and dance on out the door.