Duke Ellington, Trains, & Lunch

Bear with me here.

Last night, we read a book that we got either from my cousin, Kathleen, or my sister, Kirsten, about Duke Ellington.


Eleanor picked it out. She had been reading it to herself, then asked that I take over and read it to both of them. She’s such a fantastic reader – I really can’t brag enough about her. ANYWAY. These Brian Pinkney illustrations are just amazing, and we talked about them as we read. Here are some examples:


(the book in the background is this)

Eventually, we read that Duke Ellington teamed up with Billy Strayhorn. Well, I was delighted to tell the kids that Billy Strayhorn was from right here in Hillsborough! Our downtown has about a hundred thousand historical markers, and I read them all as I pass (sort of how you read whatever is at hand in the bathroom). Today when I was out getting groceries, I took a photo of the marker:


Billy Strayhorn


Jazz composer & pianist. Wrote “Take the A Train” and other songs for Duke Ellington Orchestra. Boyhood home site 1/4 mi. W.

It’s a delightfully small world. I’m listening to Take the A Train as I type. Listen here.  And later that evening, I was watching 30 Rock, and I saw the episode where Kenneth almost goes back to Georgia, and it had this gem:

There… actually isn’t anything to watch. Which is a pretty lame use of YouTube, but whatever.

Big day yesterday for trains in our house.

Today as I was getting groceries and taking a photo of the Billy Strayhorn sign, it was such a gorgeous day, I had to get some photos of Cup of Joe and the view out of Bona Fide.

Cup-a-Joe, being quaint and cute
The view out of the open door of Bona Fide on a warm winter day

I got a hot chocolate and a drunken grilled cheese, thank you very much.


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