I shook my head. “Lemme get this straight: you’re tellin’ me that this guy’ll drop everything if someone asks him t’play th’piano?”
Louie nodded. “I am tellin' you that. If y'don't believe me go ask him. He’s over there with Sarah.” He pointed with his champagne-laden hand.
I peered around the small clump of people in front of me. I saw the great Irving Berlin talking with some friends, a giggling leggy blonde on his lap.
I whistled. “Y’think he’d leave her just to play the piano?”
“I don't think it, my friend. I know it.”
“Alright, I’m holdin’ you t’this one.” I asked Louie to hold my drink & went over to the clump around Irving.
“Mr. Berlin?” I asked.
“Yes sir,” he replied, extending his hand. Sarah giggled again.
“Good to finally meet’cha. Hey, my friend Louie & I were talkin’ about you."
"It is. And somehow the topic of pianos came up. We were wondering if you could play us something on the Steinway over there-”
I barely got the request out of my mouth. Within seconds Irving was nearly running to the ivories, leaving poor Rachel on the floor.
A small crowd gathered as he began to play and sing a ditty he wrote: “I love a piano.... I love a piano, I love to hear somebody play on a piano, a grand piano, it simply carries me away. I know a fine way to treat a Steinway, I love to run my fingers o'er the keys, the ivories..."