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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Alcaraz

Marie Simpson from Maple Ridge Senior Living

Pictured above is Marie Simpson (left) and her daughter, Sara Lynne (right).

Marie Simpson - A Concert & Drinks

Interviewer: This is Katie Blomgren from Maple Ridge Senior Living. Today is October 22, 2020 and I am here with Miss Marie Simpson and she is going to share with us the story of the time that she ended up having dinner with Count Basie. Go ahead Marie.

Marie: Okay well, it was a lovely evening on the top of Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. And my daughter and I had just been to a concert at the Masonic Temple and we had had a lovely time at the concert. In fact, it was a Count Basie concert and we started out to go on over to the Fairmont hotel and just have a drink, relax and talk about the evening. When a gentleman approached us and it turned out to be Count Basie himself.

Marie Simpson - Dinner with Count Basie

“And so we talked with him... I was talking with him and said, “Do you remember when you were playing ‘Jumping at the Woodside’?” And his eyes got big! He said, “Nobody remembers that song! It’s been years and years and years since I’ve played it.” And I said, “Well I’ve tried to play it but I’m not a very good piano player.” So I just remembered it but I love that song and I love the idea of jumping at the Woodside. I don’t know what a Woodside was anyway. So he walked with us on over to the Fairmont and held the door for us. He was a perfect gentleman. He was so pleased that someone remembers the early days. And so we went in, he invited us to dinner. We went into the dining room, he escorted us and found us a lovely table and we continued to visit with him and had a great dinner. It was just delightful!”

Marie Simpson- Dinner with Count Basie (Continued)

“And he was so pleased that somebody had just remembered his music and the joy that we had from it. I mean even kids. I was a little kid, I was like nine years old when I heard his music. That was my time with Count Basie on the top of Nob Hill and San Francisco many many years ago.”

Transcription and Audio Edit by Ileana Chavez and Samantha Alcaraz.

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