Is Art a Lost Art? & Case of the Fan Tan Courier
IS ART A LOST ART?
CONTENTS1 The Bydee Man PAGE 4. Brian Joseph a very artistic person caught the fancy of the Austin Arts & Crafts World, which is sizeable, has created the magical world of Bydee.2 Jazz at LBJ Library PAGE 5 Bydee’s art graced the invitation to a reception preceding a concert by the bassist Charlie Hayden, Alan Broadbent on piano, and a drummer we know, Larence Marible. 3 & 4 Katherine Dunham gets the spotlight PAGE 6An old friend worked with her; she was the 1st African American dancer to have her own company along with Pearl Premus on the West Coast. She’s still alive, I believe Tribes & the Karavan route by Sheila Foscett; An excellent idea and the lady that launched the group had her own showroom for art and all things African American, who shepherded this group along.5 Frederick Douglass by Dr Wm Marshall PAGE 7Dr. M was on tour speaking as Frederick Douglass; didn’t know he had a PhD. A Shakespearean trained actor with a booming baritone starred in the forgettable Black Dracula movie with the beautiful Vonetta McGee & Denise Nicholas6 Ralph Ellison dies PAGE 8,9This article outlines some of his famous quotes/lines from his books.7 The Diva Jessye Norman; PAGE 9The Opera star very popular in Europe; on one Bastille Day, she sang in Paris. Bastille day is a daylong citywide party! 8 Black History Stamps & Notable Black Inventors PAGE 10I have a collection of them; do you? Many have done things of note but are still waiting for recognition!9 Essence Magazine spotlights Dr. Selma Burke & the dime PAGE 11. Camille Cosby’s History interviews PAGE 12-14 Austin Music Capitol of the World PAGE 15 A bit of info concerning Austin: It’s hard to describe a city like Austin: vibrant, beautiful, greenbut hot in the summer with plenty of creepy crawly things that are ‘just hanging around. “Don’t mess with Texas” means American made cars, beautiful Blue Bell highways and clean, clean, clean. Austin, the State Capitol sits right in the middle of the State. Outlining areas, such as, El Paso & San Antonio have a certain charm; Corpus Christi needs work & Dallas is elegant & Houston is futuristic in design. There’s hi tech, art, crafts, etc and did I forget to mention great food! The Blacks in Austin are making a valiant effort to improve their artistic and professional lot and have the Black Arts Alliance, The Clarksville Blues & Jazz Festival with some of the best musicians you’ll find anywhere in the world. Home of the “Texas Tenors” Jazz and its festivals abound. Corpus Christis’ is the oldest in Texas. Austin, Dallas & Houston, all have Jazz Societies. Literacy & subsidization of the arts is big in Texas, and Austin does its’ part. Visit, (not in the summer, if possible,) you’ll enjoy it! Experienced: Between 1990 & 1994 I’ve included a few items not about Austin but they are in the same context of the art world.
The Case of the Fan Tan Courier
Los Angeles, 1970 finds Cathy & Corey: Retired crime-fighters from the show-biz world thinking about getting back to fighting crime, well, white collar crime, anyway. C2 is not interested in solving petty crimes No convenience stores with video cameras, banks, with lots of complications. Something simple, pays well, you can go on with your normal life except for a few elongations. They had been working for the past 3 years seizing criminals in the communications/technology field. Mainly special messengers passing information from Companies to rival competitors or those company’s who steal secrets of other companies. Cory & Cathy had no idea that they had met and worked with the Fan Tan Courier in Germany with the “Pat Taylor” show. Cathy & Cory, moonlighting as jazz singers, were able to mingle among the international entertainment-world, catching criminals. They thought about their last case: The Case of the Jazz Magazine: There had been a knockoff of the Magazines covers before they hit the stands. Jazz was quite popular around the world; pirating was big business. Cathy uncovered the scheme after being tipped that a graphic artist had finished the cover and was soliciting the knockoff to the highest bidder; no fancy scan machines were available. However, there was a new method: Send the magazine cover via courier. Or, the exciting Case of the Missing Music: A well-known Orchestra Conductor’s briefcase was stolen. Copies of arrangements were made and errors imbedded in music to foil their big season premier concert at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts .The Performing Arts Center began during the 1950’s. The Metropolitan Opera became a constituent in 1957. Solving that matter got them a reputation of being honest, forthright, & relentless in their pursuit of the guilty parties. However, being undercover, they shunned publicity. They wanted to remain unknown. Their singing as well as cases had taken them to many parts of the world.
Cathy & Cory Carter, Cathy thought, we’re like any other “DINKS” They had gone to work doing their other types of jobs Cathy as an Underwriter and Cory, as Engineering Designer but after 6 months of the daily grind, they were getting antsy/itchy feet. Temporary work in their fields was very available and always paid well, but they wanted another trip. Cathy sat at the dining table of their LA condominium sipping a beer wondering what it would be like to be back in Action. See London; visit Paris and all the jazz clubs and see if any of the same musicians that they had worked with were still there. Their career as singers/crime solvers began at Leslie’s (nee Annie Ross) room in London’s Covent Garden. Leslie, who was born in London, goes back and forth to California, New York, and London. She was back in California doing movies. Cathy and Cory had had lunch with Leslie awhile back, and they talked a lot about ‘old times’. The James Baldwin play “Blues For Mr. Charlie playing to standing room only, in London’s West End; At Leslie’s flat meeting & singing with Georgia Brown; the tragic death of Leslie’s husband, Lon on the beautiful but deadly winding roads along the coast line of the Island of Ibiza. Ibiza is where all of Northern Europe goes for sun & fun. They had done Leslie’s club, and a TV show. They met the great jazz violinist, Stuff Smith and shared billing with him, at Leslie’s Club. He was a real pro who needed no rehearsal and he ‘killed’ every night. His tune “Song of the Viper stopped the show nightly. It was their first, true professional job and they still had not learned to swing) the first rule in jazz is to swing. The club was a great place to meet people. Tony Bennett came by. Many musicians came by to sit in with Stuff and Leslie. They could ‘jam’ most of the night. The rhythm section of her band usually stayed to play.
Nace & Kizzie
Nace & Kizzie had a cozy apartment in London; she was an Eton graduate & he was a graduate of the school of hard knocks. We knew Nace in New York. He had a great loft apartment, which he shared with Lucia, Dr Beko & Nurse Nora (Lucia’s 2 children). Near downtown Manhattan, near the produce district. We rehearsed with Nace in New York but he was no good until he found his way to England, and married Kizzie, that is when he started to turn around. Nace was born in upstate New York. He began his professional career in the early 50’s in New Mexico. When the call came from Germany, from Cory to join the show, the M/K show was ready: Zen the Afghan hound, Kizzie & her cooking pots, Nace the piano man, and his tuning fork, all in their Citroen, they made it somehow. Both extremely well read and she extremely British; Kiz inherited a goat farm and when they came back from Turkey, that is where they settled. Nace was a storyteller of the highest degree; “hell, he said, it took me 7 years to warm up in England”. York can be quite cold in winter & sometimes quite warm in summer. Grosmont, with its’ beautiful countryside, was like a painting. C2 stopped in to see Nace and Kizzie on their way to Paris, in 1970. They were in London to pick up their assignment. Nace was working wherever he could. He had gotten himself together and was quite active musically. He was a happy man until his passing in 2003.
London was still a large Mecca for jazz style entertainment. Ronnie Scott’s club was the place to be. Blossom Dearie worked there. Mose Allison came through there; Cleo Lane & Johnny Dankworth. Nace played the hell out of the blues. Later, we would all spend some time together in Germany, working for Pat Taylor
We first met Kim Foster, briefly, two years ago, through our NY Bud Lincoln Kilpatrick who was in London doing Blues for Mr. Charlie, in 1968. Kimmie is a courier, working for the highest bidder but living as “Kimmie the fan-dancer. A fan dancer is a person who uses large fans to suggest or reveal nakedness. In London, she had just completed a gig at a gentlemen’s club bachelor party. Very well attended & well paying she remarked. Kim was from upstate New York. She had gone to school there and had wanted to be in show business all of her life. While still a teen her mother & dad moved she & her brother to Seattle where she graduated high school. After studying design, she was experienced enough to make all of her costumes, she began her show business career as a dancer/singer, at age 19. She was charming and talkative. She had an easy-going disposition and a double-sided personality, as we found out! Her brother, who went on to become a dentist in San Francisco, never knew of her double life. Never marrying, she was free to travel, get into relationships, and leave town in the dead of night. Leaving all around to wonder where she went & why. She was punctual, courteous and always finished her jobs and assignments.
Kimmie had traveled through most of the US’s major cities as a variety act. Especially popular with middle-class folks who liked their entertainment with an edge. No stripping or pole grabbing but more in the tradition of Sally Rand, or Gypsy Rose Lee, or Tempest Storm, on the West Coast; that is, letting you see a little, but imagine a lot. She was good at her craft. She would charm you with her coquettish line but underneath was a hard talking mama with a keen sense of humor and a very nice figure Small but compact she was a beauty. Her costume was a 1-piece body suit with fishnet stockings and dancer’s pumps. She had matching boas and fans in three different colors: White, blue & pink. She was a knock out in every outfit We promised to keep in touch with Kimmie through American Express, which all expatriates' used for $ change or letters. Show your passport and if any mail has come in for you, they will hold it and give it to you upon presentation of American Passport.
We said goodbye to Leslie, Nace & Kizzie, and headed for Paris. We had a successful 3 week Military Show Schedule; often performed as many as three shows a night. From Paris, we went on to Germany, where we met Pat Taylor in Frankfurt.
Pat wanted to do a tour with a full show and a band; we told him about Race, and he agreed so we sent for the N&K show. Now we had a show: two singers, a comedian/master of ceremonies, and our own piano player who would check and tune the piano at every gig. Our reunion with Kimmie came soon. Pat wanted a dancer; we told him about Kimmie, and he had a German Agent contact her in London. She agreed to do the show. Pat sent her a ticket, and she made her way to Frankfurt. Now we were the “Pat Taylor show”! One funny incident on the way to a gig; we were lost and asking directions. Kim, Nance, Cory & Cathy were in Pat’s car, in a small Military Town in Germany and Pat was driving. We gestured toward this African-American GI, come here, come here. He saw Kim sitting on the passenger side up front and ran over to the car, and asked in a loud voice, “where ya goin’? She answered in her coquette voice purring we need help! He told us where we needed to go Pat drove on as she began to speak in her regular voice, imitating the guy’s excited statement. We all fell out laughing. Then in her ‘down home’ voice, telling Pat, look here sucker, don’t mess with me cause I know the bottoms and I understand 'nats' like you! Especially if he made the mistake of making an introduction such as “here’s Kim, we know you’re going to enjoy her; because she’s been enjoyed before”. She strongly objected to that introduction. And always reminded him that she did not like that type of introduction. Pat was such a fine comedian, that it was hard to stay mad at him, even though he did ridiculous things, like get drunk & want to drive and we’d take the keys away from him or tell him to stop or else. Some folks cannot handle liquor & unfortunately, Pat is one of them. The show ended on friendly terms, more or less. Pat had taken his wife & son along with us; conditions were very crowded in the car; we drove from Frankfurt to Spain and back. We were very happy to return to Frankfurt, and our rooms at the Garney. We did shows for another month out of Frankfurt to Munich, and back to Frankfurt. When the work ran out, we said goodbyes again, and left for Berlin. We again promised to stay in touch and exchanged permanent addresses. We were heading for Berlin, which would be the last stop on our Euro tour. Having a two-week lull, while in Berlin, we decided to accept a gig in Leipzig. There, at our hotel, we met Magda. She cleaned our room and begged us to take her to America. We could not, of course, but, well, who knows.Kimmie, Pat, Nace and Kizzie, headed for shows in Turkey, Cory & Cathy then left for Asia for a year and then back to US at Christmas, 1969. In Los Angeles, they caught up with family and friends. From Turkey, Kim headed for Beirut, Pat back to Germany; Nace & Kizzie stayed in Turkey for a year then back, permanently, to England and their Goat Farm in Grosmont.
Albert “Hootie Howard, had a Masters Degree in Music and was quite well thought of in jazz circles. Hootie had met Kim during her tour with Pat, et al in Turkey. Hootie was impressed, at that time, with her demeanor. He had thought she would make a good courier, being African-American. There were no other women that he had seen in his 5 years of touring and scouting for couriers. She would be a natural. Hootie contacted his superiors about her and they agreed. He decided not to talk to her about a courier job, since there was no work at that time. However, what he did not know was that she had learned the courier business from Reynus whom Hootie did not know. Kim and Hootie agreed to keep in touch.Kimmie now back in London, from Beirut, formally met Hootie, literally, at one of her Gentlemen’s Club gigs. Hootie told Kimmie that he had a job for her. She agreed to the terms. Someone was needed to get this information out of Paris. She was to contact Hootie when she arrived in Paris. The cold war was in full swing Vietnam was in action and Military shows were abundant. Hootie was a scout for a major international dealer in stolen industrial secrets. Finding Kimmie again without having to look for her was a fortuitous event. He was the drummer on the bachelor party gig, moonlighting, again. Hootie was in town to work with the CMOC the Cullen Maiden Opera Company, which had become very famous and was doing a concert in London at London’s Covet Garden Opera House. The fact that he was handsome, single, and a fine musician, (a drummer) who appeared to be interested in her, added to the fun of things. They would meet again in Paris. His drumming abilities spread from Classical to Jazz and in-between. He gave master classes; always showed up at the local tallers (schools) to bolster & encourage young jazz performers. While pursuing their other jobs, C2 had met most of the local jazz musicians in clubs, in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Singapore & Tokyo, all in a two year time span.
The players all arrive in Paris 1970
Cory & Cathy arrived back in Paris & were met by their Bud –Tommie Teal who lived in a suburb of Paris. His wife & children had gone back to the States. He had some work to do and then he was heading for New York. He was an airline representative. At that time, most major airlines were still operating and had not begun to suffer problems of too many airlines and not enough passengers. Cory & Cathy went back to Madame Pascal’s with a rooftop view, etc. Pascal’s which had now become a hotel. Paris is a lovely place, great food, wine, and a jazz lovers paradise. Across from the Agent’s office was the popular Tiger Haynes Restaurant, which featured soul food; Haynes was a former boxer in the US and had befriended many musicians, expatriates, and boxers from his years in the States as a famous restaurateur. He featuring Chicken & Waffles along with Crepes before all of that was the rave food. A little rich for our blood, we usually went there for a drink or a special occasion maybe if we did three shows! Our briefing, in London, was thorough and we were very aware of what was expected of us. Since we had worked together previously, we were instructed to become friendly, again, with Kim, and stop the transaction that was to take place here in Paris. Our supervisors were not sure what the plan was or how the secrets would be moved out of Paris. That was our job to find out. What will we call this caper C2 wondered? We suspect a Fan Dancer, who is a Courier. Cathy thought of the song “Fan Tan Fannie” from the Broadway Play, the Flower Drum Song where the dancer literally wears hand fans as the top & bottom of her outfit. We’ll call it the “Case of the Fan Tan Courier. But, Cory said, that’s a Chinese card game! I know but it’s cute! Okay, he agreed. Kimmie’s act was much more sophisticated, and, since she didn’t sing, she used popular R&B tunes with a heavy backbeat. Kimmie was staying at the more upscale Hotel de Paris, on the Riv Droite. All the clubs were going strong: the Blue Note where the great Lou Bennett & Kenny Clarke held court; the Café Severin, Le Chat qui Peche, which featured Johnny Griffin, Art Taylor, Don Cherry. Also in town, Norman Simmons one-time pianist for the great Carmen McRae, and the ever effervescent and lovable New Orleans Clarinet legend, Albert Nicholas, who held court at Tommy Teal’s home. Most of the entertainers were having a good time, in lieu of money. Jazz entertainers, as we all know, are not known for making a lot of money. It is like a progressive talk show host, they do not make much money, either.
After leaving the Fred Criten Office, the three of us Cory, Cathy & Kim stopped in at Tiger’s for a cafe. We chatted about old times, discussed our schedules, and agreed to meet Kimmie later for dinner. Dinner is an event it Paris and can go on for a very long time. In Europe, this is the best time to find out all u want to know and more about a person over dinner in Paris.
Kimmie was American, of course, we already knew that. She had been in show business about 6 years now, had traveled to Alaska, throughout the States, and was now on her second tour in Europe. We settled in at our hotels, and reviewed the schedules we had received from the Agents office. The Agent had been expecting them & they would start the next day. They were told that they would all be working together with comedian Dave Turner. What a treat. Usually the 1 hr show consisted of a comedian who usually doubles as the MC, a singing act, and a variety number. Sometimes it was an acrobat, a belly dancer & her partner a balalaikas; maybe a French group which played on the base because in Europe, at least one of the players must be of the country you’re in.The US Military build up in Europe was at its’ height, DeGaulle was postering about too many US military in France so we knew that these shows would not last much longer. Usually we met in front of the Critien office around two in the afternoon, ready to go. Each act came prepared with music, and costumes. Either a piano player went with or we used whomever they had at the club. We traveled, usually, by car, sometimes by van. The piano player, or variety act, usually drove. We would have a Singing act, a comic a dancer, and a driver/variety act. Our schedule was 4 days per week with two off but we could be called to fill in, if necessary. You could not plan anything but that was to be our schedule for the next two weeks. Most of the time we would be doing two shows a night but had to be available for as many as three shows per night. Occasionally, we would celebrate with a scrumptious dinner at Tiger Haynes, if he were open. That would depend on what time we got back to Paris. Or, how long it took to get to our shows and back. Our schedules were spelled out specifically. We always knew who would be driving, whom we would be working with, where we were going, and how long we would be there. Fred’s secretary, Linda, was from Sweden. Pretty girl, she was extremely efficient. She spoke English and was very detailed oriented. Most people are not
#4 Plot Development
Kim settled in her hotel, accompanied by her costume steamer. She remembered Hootie explaining the details of the mission. He told her what was needed and she agreed to do her part. Her assignment was to go to Paris, France. She was to contact Hootie when she arrived. She would have a two-week contract to do Military Shows out of Paris. Kim was to get some information out of Paris. Europe over the past little while had become a Mecca for all kinds of performers. Kim was no ordinary performer. We knew this from our shows together in Germany. Kim wondered who the drummers would be. She loved drummers. Kim was unaware that Cory and Cathy suspected her and were wondering how she was getting her packets moved. Kim was using her costume steamer trunk to transport packets, packages, microfiche or microfilm to a musician’s instrument travel case. Usually drummer’s cases were the least obtuse. Kim’s plans were usually sophisticated and yet, at the same time, simple. Moreover, the more handsome, the drummer, the more she enjoyed her work. After all, her job was twofold: get information to a destination and do a great job of entertaining at the same time. C2 hoped the Fan Tan Courier was not in too deep and that her personality & wit would make her see the light of the danger she was in and the danger to others around her. Cathy and Cory still had not put all of the clues together.
Kim called about an hour later. We agreed to meet at the Boston Gardens Restaurant, for dinner, and could we make it around 7 pm. Well it was six then so we said sure a shower, a short cab ride, and we’re there. Oh boy, eating out in Paris is one of life’s fine dining experiences. We shared a cab with another act that was staying at Madam Pascal’s hotel. She advised us, while we were waiting for a cab, that the ‘fine view of the rooftops of Paris’, was to become an apartment building we were not going to be able to come and go, so easily.
We were treated fairly by the Parisians. Especially being African-American, they felt sorry for us. Americans/Military discontent was everywhere. However, the hardships for the military in France were not as bad as other places we would visit; they could have been in Viet Nam. Many of the military in and around Paris were there for R&R and would be going to Viet Nam. However, this was ‘gay Parie’ and happiness abounded. However, Les Halles market had been moved to the outskirts of Paris. No more watching sleepy tourists up at 4 am!
We met Kimmie at the Boston Gardens promptly at seven. Everyone was prompt. A requirement in show business. We had a table overlooking a beautiful park. Parks, in Paris, are for LOOKING! If you want to sit, use a park bench or a flowerpot railing but NOT ON THE GRASS! Kimmie was ebullient as ever. She had been in touch with musicians we all knew, and had discovered the drummer she was to work with. She has this adoring appreciation for drummers: They were dynamic, so energized she would say. In addition, drummers were another method to obtain and deliver messages. Most drummers are men so she was even more energized! She had magnificent stage appeal. And looked good in costumes with lots of plumes, and boas made of ostrich feathers The band played a slow blues and she sashayed a round the stage. No matter what color the outfit was, she looked good. Her fine small, brown frame so mellow packed in her hand made outfits. Before we met for dinner, she contacted Hootie. They would meet later for a late nightcap and to set up the plan. Before Cathy and Cory left Madam Pascal’s, Cory got a telephone call that Kim had initiated a meeting later with Hootie Hudson. Hootie was well known to C2 because he seemed to show up from England to France to Germany and, always in the company of beautiful women. He had impeccable credentials and, at that time, was above suspicion. After dinner, they said their goodbyes, & Kim took a cab back to her hotel. C2 said they would walk. However, Cory knew Kim would be meeting someone soon, so Cory and Cathy followed Kim in a cab. They were silent at first wondering where she was going. They wondered who were the players in this tryst. Was it business or pleasure? Their information was merely that she had made a call but they did not know to whom. Who was Kimmie, an exotic danseuse, involved with? Our driver? No, that was a different person, each time. Billy, (Jas B’s bro?) He could use some cash, lives here in Paris knows all the happenings; Or was it Hootie, musician extraordinaire, with big plans to get out of this business and go the straight & narrow. He had the talent and the opportunity. What people did not know is he had a big gambling habit and his job with the CMOC was not enough. All of the players could use a few extra bucks. However, cash paid for this event could mean major time spent in jail. It was our job to find out. As the cab made its way toward the Champs-Elysees, it stopped and Kim got out. We stopped a ways down the street. The street looked familiar, it was Billy’s building, Cathy said. Kim went up to the third floor and Cory grabbed the fire escape. Cory watched as she rang the bell and immediately Billy answered the door! So JB’s brother IS involved. What we didn’t know was, he was merely a go between and that Hootie was waiting to talk to her. They discussed a few of the details but much of the information was on a small tape recorder for her to review later. She left, alone, caught a cab, and we followed. We noticed that she had a briefcase now and seemed to be mindful of her actions. She returned to her hotel and we went back to ours. I think we can rule out Willie, our driver. He’s strong, wiry, drives the vehicle, and does an acrobatic act. No, it’s not he. Moreover, what was Kimmie doing at Billy’s, and whom was she meeting there? Neither Cory nor Cathy had any thoughts that Kimmie might be involved. Yet, there she was taking late night trips to Billy's. Who was Kimmie meeting? They would sleep on it and take it up tomorrow.
Their next job was a trip to Chateau Roux, which would take about 4 hours to get to and back. It would be Cory, Cathy, a driver and Mele.Malafala. Linda sent us out with Mele, because no one else could play our music. It turned out that he was well known to American expats working in Paris. Mele had played with Count Basie, recorded for Joaquim Berendt and was a mainstay of music in Paris and surrounding areas. We were doing a private party in the early part of the evening, so we were back early. Kim was doing a show relatively close to Paris. Even though we were keeping track of Kimmie’s schedule, we were worried that she would try to get the package out while we were out, sightseeing, but the news told that would not happen why? Because there was a 1-day work stoppage. All incoming/outgoing transportation was at a standstill. The show was well received and went off without a hitch. We stopped for dinner and remembered what stories Nace had told us about the piano he used in every venue. He tuned ‘em played ‘em and had a glorious time. Mele, whose English was good, was less vocal about whether or not the piano was good or bad. He played the hell out of whatever he had to work with. He was Turkish and spoke at least 3 languages. Cory & Cathy were always excited to be working with him. The drop off place was an inexpensive hotel where some acts stayed and met to talk. Mele went his own way after the gig and our driver dropped us off and said good night. Kimmie was there, and she remembered working with Mele; He could read the specks on the music, honey, Kimmie remarked. She was having a nightcap with a drummer she had met that day. After a few drinks, they were both tired, and her drummer friend called her a cab and sent her to her hotel. We were beat, said our goodbyes, and headed for Md. Pascal’s. Cory had some letters to write & Cathy was working on a new arrangement. Cathy began to think about Kim. She must be the courier. Even though we couldn't make anything out of her visits to Billy’s. Cathy thought she must be involved because she was always on the scene, and had the means: her trunk filled with costumes, was the right size. It was not as heavy as one would think. Kimmie had had the trunk redesigned and made out of lighter weight material!
Cathy thought back to Amsterdam. Just 3 years prior, what a wild ride it had been. Raynus She was operating out of the unassuming Mr. Brovermem’s motel, and passing documents via her own courier operation. Her steamer trunk was full of paraphernalia used in her act; including a small stool; costumes, and music. Just the place for a courier’s cache. We had caught her trading the securities for secure cash. On this occasion, she was passing a small envelope that was left on the bandstand. This musician was supposed to pick up the envelope along with music but left it on the bandstand where it was picked up by a technician who called to Kim that she had left some music. She insisted the envelope was not hers; the club was empty by then. We were in the audience, just in from shows in Italy. C2 went backstage and heard the technician call to her. We demanded to see the envelope and grabbed from her. It was a diagram of plans for a bid for the Olympics from Holland. Other bidders wanted to know what their plans were. The plans had been put on microfilm. She claimed she did not know what it was for! Nor, do I care, she said. “I was paid to deliver it to this location and leave it for someone to pick up." She handed Cory a matchbook with an address scrawled on the inside. And that’s what I was doing until you two came along. The two of you, snitches, what a let down, she said. I could understand one of you but not 2 of you. After her explanation for caper, the coppers let her go. They asked that she not return to the Netherlands, again. Renus was a brown skinned attractive lady who did lots of special material, no accompanist; very sketchy lead sheets and a lot of heart; she was Pearlie Mae (Bailey) incarnate. She was a veteran of song on stage; she teamed up with a low life alcoholic that cost her many a job. The fact that he was talented was just not enough. They were popular with the GI’s & worked various hip clubs on the continent. Renus stuck with her partner Elmo until she finally shed him and that was a good thing. After being told that she had to leave, she was happy to leave. She was smart enough to save the money for a substantial down payment on a piece of property.
Reynus met Kimmie in Turkey, in 1968, Reynus told Kimmie that she knew an easy foolproof way of making money. Was she interested? Kimmie, of course, said, yes, and how! I have costumes, a trunk, and I am free to travel. Reynus taught her the procedure because she wanted to concentrate on show business. She was not enthusiastic about all of the trouble, or the travel it entailed. She wanted to settle down and stay in one place. She was going to the Netherlands but she also had been offered a headline job at a new club opening in Bangkok, Thailand. Kim had tried a few missions on her own as a freelance and found it quite to her liking. When we turned Reynus over to the authorities; it broke our hearts because we liked Reynus and were dumbfounded as to why she would take such chances. Besides, her act was okay. All she needed was her own piano player; which she never found, or refused to hire. She had a good idea but she never seemed to know exactly how to explain it. Reynus let Kim take a batch of documents in her trunk from Turkey to Beirut. She was to deliver this microfilm to a hotel in Beirut. Beirut was a dangerous, but beautiful spot. All the acts in Germany wanted to go there. This went through without a hitch. She was on her way; becoming a full-fledged courier and loved it! She spent the next year working her way back to London, always improving her costumes and making deliveries.#5
Many companies were trying to find ways to obtain information on each other’s latest product developments. It was common practice for companies to try to hire away the latest engineers to work on something for the competition that they had been hired to do for another firm. She had become a full-fledged courier and loved it!
Companies like NCR, and IBM, had been developing new products during the 60’s, and were now ready to introduce these products. They were locked in a battle to see who could garner the most market share in their quest to lead the World into the Computer dominated world of the future.
IBM had just introduced the floppy disk for computer data storage. The disk is a round, flat piece of Mylar coated with ferric oxide encased in a protective plastic cover. The Floppies were introduced to store data for the IBM 370, and NCR had just introduced the Century 50. In 1970, the mainframe and mini-personal computer market was hot! Every one of these companies wanted to be the first to introduce the newest technology. NCR had come up with the flop disk first. IBM lured R&D Engineers from NCR and began work on the Floppy Disk.. IBM needed this technology to enhance their “370” machine. The Research Engineers from IBM lured R&D Engineers from NCR to IBM. However, an R&D Engineer was not happy that IBM had usurped their idea and was going to give the information back to NCR. He puts the plans on microfilm, from a secure storage place at the home office. He knows that he can get the plans from London to Paris because of a research conference that was to be held in Paris. The whistle blower takes the microfilm to Bijou Tailors. There the microfilm is sewn into the lining of one of her fans. Kimmie never knew what was on the film.#5 Corey & Cathy worked for a worldwide nonprofit group that refused to tolerate industrial piracy, patent infringements & trademark thefts. The passed items were usually something so high tech that most people would not know what had been stolen. Their assignment had been outlined in London. To find out about a plot to steal plans for Computer floppy disks that would be useful to all PC users. Corey & Carey were told that the exchange would take place in Paris, France within the next month. They made plans to leave for the Continent as soon as they could put their affairs in order. They would need to update their arrangement/charts and make sure all of that, including costumes, were in order. Most acts of the day if you don’t see them and wonder where they are, usually, they are at a military installation somewhere in Europe or Asia. It might be France, Italy, or Germany. DeGaulle was kicking out the US military so most of the acts were moving to Germany; especially, Frankfurt where the military radius was quite substantial. Or to Asia where acts performed in Okinawa, the Philippines or Japan. C2 were going under their usual guise that of jazz singers working military shows. They were trying to catch couriers transferring software secrets to rival companies. Carrying the information was lucrative and easy to handle. As Performer in Military Shows, they had been all through France and had enjoyed the work. C2 were looking forward to their stay in France. After their briefing, Cory and Cathy traveled to York to visit with Nace and Kizzie. Nace & Kizzie were content: She had her goats. He made cheese took it to market & played jazz & blues piano with almost all of the local groups and singers, when ever he could. may take out.
The 60’s biggie was to try to transfer software secrets to rival companies. Sort of minor but lucrative and easy to handle, due to their cover as Performer in Military Shows. The French wanted Les Soldier Americans to get out of France. The French had gotten out of Viet Nam in 1954, in Algeria in 1962, and now it was Les American’s turn. It would be another 5 years before America finally saw what others had tried & failed to do. The Civil Rights Movement had made great strides in race relations. “I’m Black & I’m Proud” from a James Brown song, was the slogan of choice. This was long before hip-hop & its’ disrespect for language & females happened. Rude ethnic connotations were becoming prevalent in movies & TV In addition, the entire scene was from, about, & for Whites & the wealthy; leaving out the minorities: blacks, Latinos, Native Americans (the politically correct term), and in general most brown people. So here is Kimmie, black, proud, charming & talented; why do this? It’s just a little wrong, a little illegal. So what? Hootie told her where to receive instructions and when. No show the next day, they all went sight seeing. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, we could not get in! We visited Billy, and together, we went to an expatriate’s afternoon cocktail hour for non-Parisiennes. We went to the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre, to see a production of James Baldwin’s “Amen Corner with Claudia McNeil. Then, lastly, dinner at Tiger Haynes. What a day. Bastille Day was coming up & the city was getting ready for their weeklong party. Tables are set up all over the City for eating & drinking. Bastille Day is a day of remembrance and celebration. After a few days of working, Kim again got a call and we followed. Once again, she went to Billy’s flat. Hootie answered the door this time and that’s when we figured it out. Hootie was the mastermind. Billy’s flat was only the meeting place because he spoke English and could be trusted. She left with what looked like a new costume, which she had just finished. We followed her to her hotel, and went on to Md. Pascal's. Now we had it! Kimmie & Hootie, of course. A drummer! Who else?Solution
Finally, our last day of shows arrived. Kimmie’s bags were almost packed; her boas and fans were put away meticulously by her assistant, who had picked up the fan from the Bijou Tailors, and was quietly packing her bags. Kimmie was very quiet. We had not done any shows together that day but we knew that this was her last chance to get the information out of the country. Our bags were packed and we would be leaving the next day. Kim was taking a two am plane to Marseilles, to deliver the film, and then catch the QE2 back to the US. We said, it is now or never. We called Kim at her hotel & insisted that we get together one last time; besides, we had a drummer friend with us. Cathy & Cory found a drummer who had just come in that evening, and took him over to Kim’s hotel. After hellos and chitchat, Cathy said more ice was needed, and went to the kitchenette while Kim was being entertained. Cathy thought where is that packet. We had decided that it must be film and where best to store it. In the frig. Voila! There it was, in a vacuum-sealed container. She could not explain it, so we told her that she was under arrest and called the gendarmes. We told the drummer to get lost and handed the film over to the police. Kim was very shocked and extremely upset that her so-called friends were working with the police. As she was hauled away, she screamed obscenities at us. Poor Kim! By the time she finished outlining the whole affair, she had given the police enough information to be exonerated.Ending:
Cathy and Corey were given a commendation for finding how the Courier’s worked thus putting an end to the Courier business. The Companies signing a nonbonding agreement to honor intellectual agreements. They also agreed to arbitration to settle future problems without litigation. Kimmie's future had been secured by the outcome and this time, she took a direct flight to the USA. Hootie and his superiors were never prosecuted nor heard from again. Something about international diplomacy. Too many other capers would have to be explained. The Fan Tan Courier was permanently shut down. The companies refused to press charges because of the fact that they had usurped the information in the first place. Hootie decided to confine his work to drumming and leave the spy work to others. He gave up gambling, got married, and is raising a family in the USA.
C2 said a fond goodbye to the lights of Paris, headed back to say one last goodbye to Nace & Kizzie and on to New York to visit with friends, then to Austin to visit Dena. Hey, this is a nice place to settle in. They retired from crime fighting and doing Military Shows. Nevertheless, they said that before. They settled in Villa Hermosa, CA an up and coming town where they could raise their flowers, have their dogs and have Magda, to take care of them. Yes, she had gotten a work visa with Cathy & Cory’s help and assured them that C2 would be her only employer. Did they want a sandwich? Yes they replied. Why not! My goodness this was going to be something nice to look forward to.