If you hung out around Navasota a few years ago, you will remember a little place called Serendipity’s. Later Phil Heibeler, the owner sold the business and then got it back, and re-invented it and renamed it The Corner Café. Phil’s new vision was a café with Live music, and he featured about two years of excellent Friday evening mini-concerts he called a singer-songwriter series. I actually began this blog to try to help him promote the music scene here in Navasota, the “Blues Capital of Texas.” Every Friday night I was there at the Corner Café photographing and staying up very late writing the blogs while they were fresh on my mind.
In the process some of the musicians enjoyed my comments and used them on their websites. My photos went all over the Internet, and Phil had me blow some up and put them on his café walls. They looked good there, and I felt real cool coming in the place and feeling the art and the fun and the live music even when it was not there. Then Phil went out of business again, and left for greener pastures. He sold me the big enlarged photos I had made for his cafe, and suddenly I had these huge cumbersome things all over my studio. I’m talking 30” x 40” canvases of George Ensle, David Lutes, Susan Herndon, Bob Livingston and Brian Ashley Jones.
These folks are not exactly huge stars, but they are in my universe. Still, I was not sure what needed to happen to them, I just did not want them to leave Navasota, like the rest of our music history.
Anyway, all that to say that one of the big plans was to have each of the artists back some day and they could sign their canvases. You know, with one of those big gold pens. Of course other than one of them, that never happened. Now fast-forward a couple of years.
Sunday I was keeping the store at Blues Alley, something I rarely do any more, and had an average day and was about to close when two dudes strolled in. They arrived all smiles and commenting what a great town Navasota seemed to be… one of the prettiest towns in “East Texas” one of them offered. This identified them as Austinites. Everyone around here knows we are in CENTRAL TEXAS. OK, we are on the edge... of three distinct geographical regions... Still, I had to agree that Navasota is one of the prettiest towns around... I bragged a little and tried to sell them a cheap guitar...
One of them asked about the Corner Café. I shared the tragic loss of the wonderful little music venue we enjoyed for several years. And then one of them said, almost under his breath that he had performed there. I pondered that, for I had seen most of the shows.
The only one of the performers he could have been was Bob Livingston, but Bob is taller, younger and clean shaven.
Bob Livingston is sort of a living piece of Texas music history, a Texas songwriter, once a member of the Lost Gonzo Band and running the roads with Michael Martin Murphy, Gary P. Nunn and other Texas Music Legends. This guy was no Bob Livingston. “You say you played at the Corner Café? What is your name?”
Well you can imagine that, after insulting him mercilessly, I adapted quickly and invited Bob Livingston up to my studio to see my collection of Texas musicians… and he graciously offered to sign my canvas of his former countenance. It was a great mini-moment… One of the long Lost Gonzos had been found, right in my studio! Felt kinda like Neil Armstrong when he first stepped on the Moon. He even posed for a picture.
Songwriter and world traveler Bob Livingston poses with his obsolete portrait. I urged him to keep the beard. I was hoping he would give me the hat. I'm pretty sure he is thinking... "What a moron!"
And I had not been scheduled to keep the store like that, in YEARS. So Phil, that’s two down… three to go. Thanks to... your serendipity.
This might take a while, but I‘m thinkin’ we gotta GO FOR IT!