Road Trip – Part I

The Chet Helms Chronicles

Are we there yet?

On the startlingly unseasonably, balmy, Tuesday evening of November 15, 2005 I headed up to the Cafe du Nord on Market Street in San Francisco to attend a release party for Clara Bellino’s recently-released CD, “Embarcadero Love.” I had first met Clara the previous April at a dinner with Chet and several of his friends. (Chet had done all the photography for her CD.) I had run into Clara a few times since then – at Chet’s Columbarium memorial, at the “Chetfest” show, at the Columbarium when Chet was re-located to more spacious quarters and, most recently, at the “Chet Helms Tribal Stomp” memorial concert in Golden Gate Park two weeks earlier. Clara and I had spent much of that day hanging out together and later that night, I sent her an email, telling her I was driving to Santa Maria, CA on November 19 to…

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