Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

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Damfino
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Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by Damfino » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:34 pm

Now that the next leg of the tour is underway, and LC is in Florida with the band, I’m tempted to post an anecdote about a face-to-face encounter (of sorts) that I had with Leonard in Montreal just this past week (October 5). While we did not interact, the encounter left a strong impression.

I've hesitated to post the story because I did not wish to discuss the man’s private activities or whereabouts while he was at home.

If it’s appropriate to post here, give me the go-ahead and I’ll continue the thread with my reflections about Leonard in "The Window."

Gord
2-19-09 - Beacon, NYC / 5-14-09 - Palace, Waterbury, CT / 5-15-09 - Webb Sisters - Webster Hall, NYC / 5-16-09 - Radio City, NYC / 5-30-09, Boston, MA / 10-17-09 - MSG, NYC / 11-5-09 - Nashville, TN / ??
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Geoffrey
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by Geoffrey » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:46 am

Damfino wrote:
>I’m tempted to post an anecdote about a face-to-face encounter (of sorts) that I had with Leonard in Montreal just this past week (October 5). While we did not interact, the encounter left a strong impression. I've hesitated to post the story because I did not wish to discuss the man’s private activities or whereabouts while he was at home. If it’s appropriate to post here, give me the go-ahead and I’ll continue the thread with my reflections about Leonard in "The Window."


I am sure it will be all right. Sounds really fascinating, anyway.
-Geoffrey
MaryB
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by MaryB » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:20 am

I'd like to hear about your encounter also, unless the moderators say it's not right.
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
ladydi
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by ladydi » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:39 am

You have certainly caught our attention now. I will await either your posting or a decision from the moderators. For some reason, I figured Leonard would have been in LA....but of course, Montreal is also home. Of course, he had 3 weeks...plenty of time to be in both places!

Anxiously/patiently,
Diana

ps...oh, go ahead Damfino...after all, we have an entire thread devoted to encounters with Leonard!
Damfino
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by Damfino » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:46 pm

Here's the story. If it’s inappropriate for the forum, the moderators can edit or delete:

As preface, I’m from NYC, but I spend a good deal of my spare time in Montreal, where I have a part share in an apartment not far from LC’s house. Many fans are probably familiar with the house’s location near Parc du Portugal, just off St. Laurent Blvd. in the Mtl. Plateau neighborhood. When I walk by that park, rarely do I not think of Leonard and cast a glance in the direction of his house.

Visiting Mtl. the first week in October, it struck me that, given the pause in LC’s tour, it would not be a surprise if he were to spend some time at his Montreal house that particular week — perhaps to enjoy the brief window of autumn before Mtl. winter set in.

One day while passing by, sure enough, lights were on in his front room. And the curtains were wide open. Someone, at least, was home. During the next few days, I kept alert, anticipating that I might see LC on the street. Sightings of Leonard are not all that rare around his Mtl. neighborhood. Even I had once before nearly bumped into him on St. Laurent Blvd. as he exited a grocery store on the weekend of his 70th birthday. In any event, this time I’d supposed that, should I run into the guy, my inclination would not be to try to engage him but rather to simply nod a “good to see ya” — with the intent of conveying my respect and gratitude.

So, it was Monday morning, Oct. 5, around 9:00 AM, and I had just headed out to find some breakfast. The weather in Mtl. had been chilly and gray much of the year, and it was another of those days. As I walked south on St. Laurent, about a half block from Parc du Portugal, I glanced up into the window of a patisserie (Anges). And sitting there, at a table in the front window, was Leonard. Just a few feet away. Gazing out into the gray.

I did a subtle double take. A smile of recognition and invitation broke across my face as I continued past. But he did not shift his gaze.

He sat frozen. A look of intense — I hate to fall back on this word — longing in this fathomless stare. His eyes were fixed, he did not seem to be searching, but he appeared to be focused on something. He looked to be almost awestruck. Over something.

He may have been comfortable, simply sitting at a familiar breakfast table. (The clerk would later remark that he was not a stranger there.) He may have been calm. But he did not appear to me to be at ease.

This complex impression registered with me in the three or four seconds that it took me to pass the window. I would, a moment later, decide to have my breakfast in that pastry shop. How could I resist going back?

But in that brief moment I was struck by the intensity of that face. And I found it almost confounding to reconcile... Here was a man who, only days before, had been serenaded happy birthday by thousands, who’d made world news when he fell publicly ill, and who’d only ten days ago performed before 50,000 lovers in Tel Aviv. Who, if not the most famous artist, must be one of the most intensely beloved people on the world’s cultural stage. And that same person was also this solitary, physically slight, gravely-concerned looking man, sitting silently, staring toward something from that window on a cloudy street.

I returned to the pastry shop and went in. I bought an almond croissant and coffee on a tray, and selected one of the four small tables near the front door — a few feet adjacent to where Leonard sat at his table, still frozen in the same demeanor that I had seen in the window.

He sat this way, chin resting on his left palm, gazing out the window, seeming to hardly shift his position for the nearly ten minutes that I was in his presence.

The mundane details: His dress was sharp, of course. Suit jacket and blue slacks. Comfortable-looking slip on shoes — almost like little black slippers. A knit scarf. That perfect famous tweed cap on his head. Over the back of the chair, a car length dark brown leather jacket.

He had bought and apparently finished a small yogurt, and had what appeared to be a demitasse of something on his tray.

At the other two nearby tables, two more youngish men sat with their breakfasts. They started to converse loudly about their work, which was related to the music business in Montreal. And perhaps it was a coincidence, but it was at this moment that Leonard moved, to leave. He quietly rose, pulled on his coat, turned toward the pastry counter just long enough to catch the attention of the clerk, nodded an acknowledgement, and glided out the door, heading up the sidewalk in the direction of his house.

And that was the encounter.

I’m aware that a fan — especially one who has spent so much of the year enjoying and celebrating LC — might have the propensity to project the man’s famous reputation for intensity into such an encounter. But this was the impression I sincerely received. I do hope that LC was more at ease than he appeared that morning. It’s what I would have wanted for the guy whose work has brought me a certain ease that I'll carry with me all my life, in addition to the joyous experiences of these recent concerts.
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MaryB
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by MaryB » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:08 am

Damfino,

Your beautifully written, detailed of your encounter really touched me. I am very grateful you decided to share it with us. Thank you so so much!

Warmest regards,
Mary
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
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Geoffrey
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by Geoffrey » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:27 pm

Damfino wrote:
>Here's the story . . .


Thank you!!! A very well written and incredibly fascinating story; I felt as though I were there with you, observing your impressions of a quiet, unassuming, private person, who finds no discomfort in visiting a cafe alone on a grey day to meditate and absorb inspiration borne of solitude, in his hometown, after having just travelled the world and been daily surrounded by multitudes of people, tight schedules, hectic decisions and endless media.
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by Evie B » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:51 pm

Hi Damfino
I can understand why you hesitated to write this account of your encounter with Leonard. It clearly touched you as it no doubt has everybody who has read it here.
I truly hope Leonard was just deep in thought and not melancholy. The morning we were fortunate enough to meet him in London he had moved away, ahead of the others in the band, and he seemed to just be enjoying a few minutes on his own watching the world go by in a busy city street, sorry Leonard if we disturbed you. Hopefully, he went to Montreal to unwind and have some peace and quiet, to check out his house before winter sets in.
I have often wondered how it is for those who are worshipped. Maybe lonely, but if they befriend a person who is enslaved it is not healthy for obvious reasons. But if they fall for someone who is indifferent to their gift, they have no appreciation or response to their creativity. Somebody once said that the words 'but you don't really care for music, do you?' was a sad acknowledgement that the writer's mate did not like his music. Who knows.
Evie B
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friscogrl
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by friscogrl » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:11 pm

My guess is that leonard was just deep in thought sitting there by himself. I would say a lot of us have spent time in a coffee shop doing just the same,gazing out the window thinking about something in our lives but of course we go unnoticed. I do not find this situation at all concerning. I can just picture him sitting there lost in his thoughts.

Marsha
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Damfino
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by Damfino » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:51 pm

Friscogrl is probably quite right. I did not leave the encounter under the impression that there was necessarily something troubling LC. But the look of concerned focus — almost wonder — in his eyes, and his serious continence, was striking. Almost stereotypical of the popular (mis)conception of LC and his “intensity.”
2-19-09 - Beacon, NYC / 5-14-09 - Palace, Waterbury, CT / 5-15-09 - Webb Sisters - Webster Hall, NYC / 5-16-09 - Radio City, NYC / 5-30-09, Boston, MA / 10-17-09 - MSG, NYC / 11-5-09 - Nashville, TN / ??
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mutti
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by mutti » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:41 am

Thank you Damfino for posting your post. I found it very touching and could visualize it from how you wrote it.
I think it was good as it reminded me that Leonard is just a man, a simple man and after being with people so intensely day after day
he must love the solitude and silence that he has on his time off.
To be happy one must feel sadness, to feel loved one must feel alone..the paradox that makes one whole...
I simply loved what you described and think someone like Leonard must need solitude and the time to just space out....
this is just my humble opinion...
a glimpse in one man's day..
thanks again.
Mutti 8) :lol: 8)
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slapperoonie
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by slapperoonie » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:31 pm

Sounds very familiar to me - I work in a similar kind of shop, and when it's quiet I can very easily sit gazing out of the window watching the general tide of humanity going about their business and occasionally get quite lost in my reverie whilst nursing a nice cup of tea...
Liverpool 2009 / Manchester 2013
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miacomet
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by miacomet » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:35 pm

Lovely posting Damfino. the mystery that is Leonard - long may that mystery continue. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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SuzanneT
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by SuzanneT » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:40 pm

Hi Damfino,
...As if you described this is my dream .. I would like to experience too! I know that my dream never come true .. but with your words I can imagine what it would be...
Thanks for your writing!! 8)
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kwills
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Re: Seeing Leonard in Montreal, Oct. 5, 2009

Post by kwills » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:43 pm

I enjoyed reading that,I wonder what memories he was recollecting,if indeed that what what was he was doing.
Thank you for posting it and what a special moment for you too.
Manchester 19th June/Cardiff 8th Nov
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