Lost in the abyss of the Lomaz garage were artifacts of minimal value. Among them, however, was what they used to call a “long play” album …vinyl … a recap of the Browns’ ’65 season. Via the play-by-play of Gib Shanley as narrated by coach Blanton Collier, it told the story of team’s efforts repeating their championship by playing games (as the record was titled) “One Game At A Time”.

More than once I’ve told Carrie that so long as she’s present the activity’s immaterial. “It’s about being together”, I’ve assured her. (Ed. Note 1: Previous evidence includes last year’s Hall & Oates Concert and even a 2012 mile-long hike under treacherous sun on the Beachwood Park path.

Tuesday evening I learned that some times, one game at a time is a lot.

With marginal tongue-in-cheek irony I note that the person gracing us with tickets to see Jackson Browne was one of those not necessarily doing handstands when we married. Still, my bride (I knew) loved the singer and fact is, I’d seen the video of his playing The Scarecrow in the concert version of “The Wizard Of Oz”, so….

“Do you mind if I call Nautica to see if there’s a first act?
“Not at all,” she said graciously. (Had we not both suffered through an atrocious one/hour pregame at One Direction?).
“No”, I was told when I called. “Just him for three hours”. (“Three hours”, I said to myself, quickly doing the math. This was TWICE as long as the Three Stooges movie I’d dragged Michael to).

Still, I love this woman …so I smiled (a bit) … and on a night boasting 88 dripping degrees, I sat by her side.

For three hours.
Knowing but two songs.
Which were sung two and a half hours in.

How much, then, did I love the evening? Let me count the ways:

Tipoff was 7:30, and I entered with reticence. Not having been a druggie, did I even have standing to be there?  The guy’d earned his bones in the 70’s, after all.

Running late, beckoned off I-480 by stand-still traffic, we’d tread down Lee Road and dreidled through city streets until fortunately (or unfortunately) we found the banks of the Cuyahoga and the Nautica Pavilion. It was 7:40; the music had started.

Trudging past beer stands, we hadn’t yet sat when, not breaking stride, my left hand shook the outstretched arm of an old friend. (Ed. Note 1: It would be my last interaction with anyone remotely Semitic until the next day at Corky’s).

Twenty-four rows up we plowed . Tall steps. 8 inches apiece. DOUBLE steps — two per letter, as we sought out Row “X”.  In front of us, already seated, were two schmucks. On and off for a half hour or so these two lumps sat taking pictures by phone. There was a moment, not an hour in, when a huge barge passed by. I’m not sure about the guy, but in his lady’s euphoria over filming the boat, I swear she climaxed.


(Ed. Note 2: The couple left us mid-evening, clearly to be home by 10. And I called THEM “schmucks”?).

The band played on, and how Carrie enjoyed it…as my mind wandered.

“Jews don’t drink beer”, I noted.
“Who told you that?”
“Here, let me google it”. (I had time on my hands).

From the stage he kept crooning.  Sensing Carrie preferred Jackson Browne’s voice to my nonsense, I closed the link to “Jews And Beer” ( and searched the web for his playlist.

(Ed.Note 3: Two sets of ten followed by 2 encores of two songs each. 24 songs. Figuring seven minutes per song (every tune had two minutes of instrumental foreplay) and an intermission, it occurred to me that we’d leave directly from there for my grandson’s Bar Mitzvah).

The audience, by the way, reveled in the music. Nine times they stood in ovation. Come to think of it, it may have been ten; I slept through one).  And the night pushed forward. About 10:15, temperature diving to 85 and, I turned to Carrie:

“The breeze feels great. Doesn’t it?”

“What’s that woman doing in the back of the stage?” I inquired. (In addition to Browne playing guitar and/or keyboard, there were other guitars, keyboard and drums. That, to me made sense. Quite standard. What I didn’t get was the lady upstage left. Other than clapping to  songs, I feigned to think what service she might provide).

“She’s there for backup,” my wife said quite knowingly. “Right,” I agreed. (Rather avant garde for Carrie to note, I thought).

It ended abruptly, (but a song to the second encore).

10:30ish we trudged down steps: 48, past beer stands, to our car. Just a few months shy, it was, of the Browns’ ’65 finale, which they lost to the Packers.  Driving uptown, as much as I loved Carrie, I couldn’t help but think of the lesson I’d learned …like my Brownies back then:  that sometimes one game at a time is too many.

One Response to “ONE GAME AT A TIME”

  1. Alan Wieder says:

    jews love jackson browne. jews drink beer. happy new year

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