Thursday, July 2, 2009

How it all began - Leroy Cooper

The first time I met Leroy Cooper, he was the new member of a band called the Smokin' Torpedoes. They were at a little cigar bar called Harry's Cigar and Brew in Oviedo, Florida. Leroy was a large man with a large baritone sax.

I approached him during the break and learned that he had played with Ray Charles for 20 years. He had also played with many other famous musicians. As a writer, I asked to do an article. He invited me to his home and I interviewed him there.

After we were done he told me that he wanted to write a memoir but he didn't know any professional writers. His tendency was toward passive aggressive innuendos. In other words, the meaning of his statement translated to "Would you write my memoir?"

In my life I said the word "NO!" to my children many times, but with Leroy, I seemed to have forgotten how to pronounce it. Alas, it was too late. I committed. Or maybe I should have been committed. Leroy died on January 15, 2009, 5 days after his last gig with the Josh Miller Blues Revue at Harry’s Cigar and Brew. It seemed only fitting that our first and last encounter took place in the same venue.

Copyright © 2009 Susan Cross – All rights reserved


Jai Joshi said...

My goodness, how sad that he passed away. I'm sorry to hear it.


Susan Cross said...

I am still grieving. It took me months to get back to working on this and I still haven't gotten used to the fact that I can't call him up to ask him more questions. RIP Leroy.