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Posts published in “Culture”

Kearns Tells All About Phoebe — But Who Is ‘The ‘Poetry Man?’

Phoebe Snow Rolling Cover
Phoebe Snow ‘Rolling Stone’ cover from June 5, 1975.
At about five-thirty on Sunday afternoon, Philip Kearns and the band got tuned-up to play and pay “A Tribute to Phoebe Snow.” This would be the fourth time that Kearns had performed this tribute to his ex-wife, who died a little over four years ago at age 60. He’d originally done the show as a one-off performance in Greenwich Village about a year ago, but the success of that show led to a performance in downtown Winston-Salem, which led to another performance at Greensboro’s Carolina Theatre.

This time he was playing at the Luna Lounge & Tiki Bar, a nice enough small bar at the northern boundary of Winston-Salem’s gallery district, a far cry from the Duplex Cabaret, where he first performed the show, or the venerable Carolina. But the show was for charity, to raise funds for the North Star LGBT Center, a cause dear to his heart. So, as they say, “The show must go on.”

Incident at Starbucks

Today we visited the new Harris Teeter that just opened on Reynolda Road where the Roses once stood, mainly to see if they carried Hoffman hot dogs, which is a favorite of my roommates. While there, we picked up some roasted chicken, some ice cream and a few other items, and while going through checkout, my roommate noticed that there’s a Starbucks in the store.

I like coffee and despise yuppies too much to like Starbucks, which insists on ruining gods-little-beans by adding milk, sugar or any other ingredient they can find to everything. Coffee is perfect by itself; it doesn’t need any help. But order a plain cup of joe at Starbucks, and they decide — meaning the guys and gals who, by dint of working behind the counter, are the arbiters of what passes for cool and what doesn’t — that you’re an uncouth and unsophisticated laggard who wandered in from (stereotyped cliche alert) some trailer park.

The headquarters for the friendly down-the-road little place where everybody knows your name and you can stay sober.
Needless to say,

But my roommate doesn’t share my disdain for corporate deceit, and asked if I would fetch for her a decaf mocha latte while she took care of paying for the groceries. No problem. I sauntered up to what looked like an ordering spot at the Starbucks counter, and waited a minute or two for the young lady who had absolutely nothing to do, to notice she had a customer.

For a while she chose to keep her attention on the store’s front door, but she eventurally turned around and without smiling or being in any way cordial asked if I wanted to order. Yup, I do, I nodded. She walked up to another ordering area, about ten feet away and told me I’d have to go to her to order. Fine. I did.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been working as a journalist since the 1970s. She currently hosts a weekly radio show of  sixties music, The Sixties in 60 that can be heard every Sunday at 6 pm Eastern Time on The Barrel of Rock.