Ghost Of The Jazz Man

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Ghost handCelia Fosters life was pretty hard. She was working at Shanes, a small bar on the outskirts of Chicago, seven days a week, just as she had done for many years. In the same block as Shanes was a club called Genos Jazz Club. Genos was once the place to go for Jazz in Chicago, but that was many years ago. Geno’s was now a run down bar in a drug infested run down neighborhood.

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Celia did not live in the neighborhood. She would take the train from here home a few miles away, walk a couple of blocks to her job, then walk back to the train. Except for coworkers, she knew few people in the area. There was one man though, an old man, she would see outside of Genos jazz club.

The old man would stand outside the club and play his saxophone for tips. He never spoke, just a smile, a nod, and a song. Genos hadn’t had live music for over 30 years from what she had heard but while Celia’s financial situation was not good, she always tried to give the old Jazzman a few dollars when she could, sometimes getting strange looks from others passing by.

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Then one day Celia was on her way home when she noticed that the Jazz man was not at his usual spot. She didn’t think too much about it but hoped the old Jazz man was OK. Days passed, then weeks. Celia asked her co workers if anyone knew what happened to the Jazz man, no one seemed to know what she was talking about. Her curiosity grew. So, one day on her way home she went into Genos, where she had never been before, to ask about the old Jazz man.

What she got was a lot of strange looks and I don’t know what you’re talking about. As she was about to leave, Celia saw a very old man sitting in the corner of the club. He motioned for her to come over. As she got closer and got a better look at the man, she thought the man must have been at least 80 years old.

Celia began to ask the man about the Jazzman, he stopped her and said, ” I know the old Jazz man, we played this club 50 years ago, when this was the place to be”. The old man said the Jazz man’s name was John White, but he went by “Kitch”. Then the old man told Celia something very strange, he said ” You know Kitch is gone, he was stabbed to death right on that spot about 30 years ago, they robbed him and killed him for less than five dollars.”

Celia was shocked and confused, she said nothing and got up to go to the door when the old man said one last thing, ” Kitch may be gone, but the music never dies.” Celia left the club and never returned. In fact the incident bothered her so much, she soon found another job, far away from the old jazz club.

Less than a year later Celia’s mother died. Celia didn’t know much about her family, her parents were drug addicts and she had grown up in a series of foster and group homes. She knew where her mother lived but she had not seen her for years.

But, while going thru her mothers things, she came across some pictures, one of them shocked her. A man with a saxophone, that looked like the old Jazz man she had seen outside of Ginos. On the back of the photo was written, ” Grampa John outside the club.” The Jazz man, John White, was Celia’s great-grandfather who was killed long before she was even born.

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