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One for the Road

It’s a quarter to three, there’s no one in the place except you and me

So set them up Joe, I got a little story I think you should know

We’re drinkin’ my friend, to the end of a brief episode

Make it one for my baby, and one for my road

“One For My Baby!” lyrics by Johnny Mercer

For me, the pleasures of being an Uber driver are there’s no pressure, it’s easy pay, and most of our visitors are pleasant and happy to be a part of our culture for their visit. Our time spent together for their rides are no more than twenty minutes with the furthest traveled being LaPlace and Belle Chase.  I admit, it is scary going to some of therse places, but for me, it feels safer to drop people off in those places rather than pick up someone there.

I usually pick up my PJ’s iced coffee with a cup of extra ice on Metairie Road. and head out for my day. I control my environment by listening to my Spotify playlists of music I love or music suggested to me. The car I’ve rented is an Altima Nissan, has a  sound system that is superb with split channels. It plays music as intended by the recording engineers. This matters when you love music like I do.

My point of view has changed as I have gone through life and matured. I like different wines, foods, artists, paintings, singers, songs, photographs, and photographers, and start to feel them differently.

“One for My Baby” was recorded in 1957 for the album called Songs for Distingué Lovers,  by Billie Holiday, and produced by Norman Granz.

I’m not even going to attempt to tackle the complex subject of jazz or Billie Holiday.  These tastes are to be refined on your own. 

What I would like to do is introduce you to an aha moment that happened to me this week.  The other night I was driving and “One for My Baby,” came on.  I felt like I was sitting close to a stage at a  club with  Billie singing. Norman Granz, obviously understood music,  Billie Holiday, and technical sound. Moments of art like this give me life. 

Here, listen for yourself with  headphones:

A few years ago, a showing of Herman Leonard’s Jazz portraits at the Lousiana Jazz Museum held one of the greatest photographs I've seen of popular culture.  It was a collection I’d seen my whole life but knew very little about. Especially the photographer. Seeing photographs in person puts the work in a whole different light  Seeing these photographs which are clear and precise and shot with purpose. Herman's equipment was a large and heavy camera and lights and he only got only eight photographs a night so they had to be on point.

In an interview:

Herman recalled one experience with Holiday, whose drink, drug, and relationship problems were infamous: “I did an assignment for [producer] Norman Granz in 1955, a recording session in New York. When [Billie] walked into the recording studio I looked at her and she just looked awful, like she hadn’t been to bed for weeks. I said to Norman, ‘I can’t shoot this! You can’t use these pictures on your album covers!’ And he said, ‘Herman, you get your ass out there and shoot, it may be your last chance.’ And it was for me – although she died a couple of years later, I never saw her again. When she stepped up to the microphone that voice came out so pure and so clear and clean it was amazing.”

Simon Harper, Clash Magazine,2010

Now put the photograph and the song together and there’s magic 

You never know it, but buddy I’m kind of a poet 
And I got a lot of things, I’d like to say 
And when I’m gloomy, won’t you listen to me? 
‘Till it’s all talked away 

Driving on December 30th, it seemed passengers were more reflective than on New Year’s Eve. When wishing one gentleman a “Happy New Year,” he caustically laughed.  and responded that sentiment could be the “most ambiguous thing humans say to each other. Years come and years go and shit happens and the good and the bad that happened in one year will repeat the next year.”

That being said, 2023 was a year that I look back on reflectively. Friendships were made. Friendships were forever changed.

 We live.  We love, We learn.

Home is where the heart and there's nothing greener than the grass that’s growing around your own back porch.

I am 57 years old and have decided that time is precious. Focus on the good.  Let karma clean the rust out of the pipes for the water to purify.

We are not in charge. Turn it over.  Show up and do what’s in front of you.


I’ve decided to work on my art. Producing my podcast has been an amazing process. “Quiet Conversations” is good. I work hard on it. I have guests who share their life stories and will forever be down in history. 


We don’t know the answers until we have all the information.

Experience life.

Give your brain a chance to expand your bandwidth.

The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results.  

 Hang with new people.

Say hello to a stranger.

Make a new playlist. 

Read a different author.

Listen to my podcast.

Arthur Severio

Quiet Conversations

Well, that's how it goes and Joe
I know you're gettin' anxious to close
So, thanks for the cheer, I hope you didn't mind my bendin' your ear
But this torch that I found must be drowned or it soon might explode
So, make it one for my baby and one more for the road
The long, it's so long

The long, very long

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