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Somewhere in the back streets of Yokosuka, a few blocks from the naval base, is the Hideaki karaoke bar. The neon sign above the doorway entrance has been missing since Typhoon Kirogi years before. But word of mouth has made Hideaki the place in Yokosuka for sailors on shore leave, at least any sailor with a keen ear for improvisation and the ability to count in 11/8. Because Hideaki is the world’s first Eric Dolphy memorial karaoke bar.

Grandpa Fulton, as always it seemed left to do the parenting, was helping Joe put on his Halloween costume, a robot suit comprising two cardboard boxes covered in tin foil and decorated with assorted electrical dials and gauges that Grandpa had found in the attic.

“You know, Joe, your costume reminds me of Halloween 1931. Now that was a night to remember.” Grandpa Fulton commencing another of his old timer reminiscences, Joe a captive audience, it’s very difficult to escape when wearing two oversize cardboard boxes.

Phyllis Cormack stepped off the bus just as the valve on the air-brakes released, emitting a sudden harsh snort. Startled, a gulp from the coke bottle she was drinking shot up her nose, bubbles exploding like pinpricks in her brain. She sneezed a spray of cherry-zero over the pavement. Before her head cleared, a cop car suddenly screamed by the bus, sirens wailing, too close, an involuntary reflex kicking in causing her to duck down, as if dodging some low-flying aircraft screaming down the sidewalk.

Downtown Washington DC, working hard in the kitchen at Les Oignons restaurant, yet Lillian’s spirits were high. The WJSV radio newsreader was predicting another war in Europe. Lillian, waiting for gospel hour, ignored him. Two days ago she’d been at Lincoln Memorial watching Marian Anderson singing, with the first lady’s blessing, to all:

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.

Through crystal chandeliers, the rose colored banquet hall of the Inn was refracted. Pink everywhere, as far as the eye could see. Silver haired vixens, cloaked in its warmth, were dancing below the small stage to a Benny Goodman mix. No band in sight, but there might be one later.

This was Irem’s first night in San Luis Obispo.

Margo watched her husband Chuck leave for work in the usual hurry. She waited inside another ten minutes to make it look good and then herded their toddler, Jonah, into the car. Minutes later, she dropped him off kicking and screaming at her gym, which also provided daycare to weary mamas at a reasonable fee.

“Another Town Hall meeting, Margo?” the sitter taking Jonah’s hand.

“Oh – no, not today,” flashing a wide smile complete with blinding white teeth, “Hair appointment. Would you look at these roots?”