AN ANECDOTE ABOUT LOUIS ARMSTRONG, TRUMPET PLAYER,
FROM THE 1930’S: A PROSE POEM, OR VIGNETTE.
by Alan Yount
growing up in st.louis in the 1960’s
there were always several jazz stories
going around the jazz clubs everyone knew.
it was during, the 1930’s depression
when the grand theatre was opulent then
it had oriental carpets and crystal chandeliers.
vaudeville shows came and bands played from all over.
louis armstrong played many times and once
a twelve year old kid named aaron snuck in
the side door to hear him play.
the band took a dinner break
and aaron followed them
to a burger place near by.
louis went up to
the carry out window to place an order.
aaron heard a voice from inside
laying it down “no service here
to no coloreds.”
then all of a sudden aaron found himself
standing on the street right in the middle of the band.
he couldn’t believe he was really speaking …
“mr. armstrong … if you give me some money
I will go back and buy you all
louis then grinned at aaron
“thanks son … meet us up on the stage
to the side.”
when aaron got back
to the stage … he carried up
two paper sacks of food.
- armstrong, waved him on up
sat together, sharing fries …
then mr. armstrong said … “I’ve got another idea …
when we go up on stage & start playing
how would you
like to come out on stage with me
and sit in a chair right next to me?”
“I might need to lean
on your shoulder, o.k.?”
aaron later thought that this was
the most exciting thing that had ever happened
in his life at twelve, for sure!
of course as this st.louis story goes
young aaron was a.e. hotchner.
“hotch” continued the knack
all his life of befriending famous people.