...and this is how I found out Ornette Coleman has died...

June 11th, 2015, 11am

I was walking my Mom’s little white mutt, Buddy, like I do most every lingering, cool morningtime. Buddy has diabetes, so he sticks to his schedule and often his energy wavers & wobbles, but today the air was fresh & rainforest cool so he wanted to get his ramble on.

We crossed a street we seldom go across, and the dog smelled the first patch of grass surrounding the stop sign like he’d found the Elixir of Immortality, or buried truffles at the very least. He investigated the entire patch from curb to sidewalk with great thorough care, like he was a real estate mogul sniffing out the gentrification possibilities.

Then, passing on leaving his calling card there, he walked over the sidewalk where a favorite patch of petunias were gamboling beneath the sunshine, and promptly peed on a fuzzy bumblebee!

I turned to him and said, “Buddy, sometimes you remind me of Christopher Columbus! You cross the street & start a fight & claim everything for yourself!” Buddy nonchalantly kept strolling.

In the same block, we came around one of my favorite paired fir trees. One sees this often, two extremely tall firs growing next to each other, like close siblings. One is always a little bit bigger, but they reach upward like majestic sentinels, like watchtowers for the winds, the weather, the way this plateau used to be when it was a forest, but now amidst the houses glowing with electricity over a gridwork of streets the trees stand like a forgotten lullaby, like a lonely woman, like the shape of things to come insisting there’s a place for trees that breathe with the melodies of rooted places.

The dog and I walked beneath these tall twin firs, my neck craned upward like a NYC tourist gawking at skyscrapers for the first time like I always do, when an absurd flash of pink peeked into view.

You never know where you’ll spot a renegade, ironic yard flamingo, and this improbable bit of color and silliness, the sudden spitting image of tropicalia & redneck grease just made me smile, bemused and thinking of writing up the tale, including Buddy’s ramble as a canine Columbus to pee on a bumblebee.

I reached in my pocket to shoot this video, and my phone brought me the news, via Twitter friends like @champsuperstar, that Ornette had shed this mortal coil, and a lonely woman turned into a galaxy of songs, and my walk turned both contemplative and insistently swinging.

David Wade said thanks.

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Chris DeBarr

Chef who believes in eating the world to save it. Wine & language & sharp knives are the tools of my métier. At heart, I'm a warm & fuzzy Dadaist.

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