Last night I went to my first East Side Club business meeting. At first I felt kind of out of place, because everyone else knew each other, and they were all at least a generation older than I am, but then an old coworker entered the room. That was great – we chatted about what everyone from the old place is up to these days. I was specially invited to this meeting because I am a new member, and after all the business talk (a lot like a condo association meeting, if you have ever been to one), they invited us newbies up to the stage and asked us to talk a little about ourselves. I pulled out the old “I’m a semi-professional musician making tens of dollars playing in public” line, and they loved it. In fact, I once played at the East Side Club, for a St. Patrick’s Day event. However, that was in the evening when it was dark out, and so I didn’t realize at the time what a treasure the place is. The chairman asked us newbies to each drink a “shot,” which tasted like cinnamon and was apparently not alcoholic at all, then they asked us to lead the singing of “God Bless America,” which I for one was happy to do. They also have a club song, which is vaguely to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and is about how they never drink from the fountain down the street. Apparently it is a very old song, dating from when horses pulled carriages down the street, and the “fountain” in question was a trough for the horses to drink from. Interestingly, the current East Side Club building is from the 1950’s, and they used to be located in the building where Bunky’s Café is now. I learned all this from my New Member Welcome Package. So now I really feel like a part of the East Side Club!