Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Tea For Two

Thomas Fats Waller was my first hero ( except Ivanhoe, Biggles and Swiebertje , but that's beyond the scope of this blog), and, although I'm not religious or a believer of paranormal affairs some things keep me busy.

As a teenager I lived in Zeeland in the southwest part of the Netherlands ( I still do) and studied at the Pedagogische Academie ( Teachers' seminary) in Middelburg. I had to travel by train each day between Goes and Middelburg. As I collected Fats Waller I was interested in his story and I had bought myself some books about Waller (like Ain't Misbehavin' by Ed Kirkeby). I learned that Fats visited Europe and once he travelled by train to Scandinavia. I remember to have read somewhere that his train waggon had to be armoured, so he wouldn't get into contact with the German. I learned that he crossed The Channel on Sunday 11 September 1938 ( what's in a date !!) between Harwich (England) and Vlissingen ( Flushing- The Netherlands), where he boarded the train.

So I realized in my early 20s that he travelled along the same trail as I did each day to visit school.

He travelled to Hamburg and changed trains there for Copenhagen. In Copenhagen he gave several concerts. He travelled to Aarhus where he was welcomed on 14th September by .... Svend Asmussen's Five Swing Fans. They performed together at the Aarhus-Hallen that evening.

Isn't it cute that this young Waller-fan did meet Svend Asmussen 67 years later in Copenhagen to talk with him about his meeting with Oscar Aleman in December 1938? I should have mention his Waller meeting, but I didn't relalized it a year ago.

Next week this meeting with 89 years young Svend Asmussen will be one year ago and my friend Jørgen and his family from Denmark will visit us in Zeeland. Of course we will discuss this I guess.

Such events, without context, suddenly seem to be parts of a large puzzle, that keeps me busy !

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