Posts Tagged ‘Billie Holiday’

Bernie’s Playlist (1): If You Were Mine


October 16th, 2011 Posted 9:14 am

Music by Matt Malneck, lyrics Johnny Mercer. Teddy Wilson on piano (and bandleader), vocal Billie Holiday, and the trumpet that takes it out is Roy Eldridge (Admin once saw him play, front table in a small club; requested More Than You Know).

Welcome High Hopes, Cocoa & Carmel.




July 27th, 2011 Posted 8:03 am

“No more Borders,” says Spence.

“Not good,” says Admin. “Remember that Q and A they did with Bernie?”

Borders: Having read Dog On It, I have the feeling we may not get much out of you in this interview.

Bernie: Oh?

Borders: This is just an impression – by the way, are you armed right now?

Bernie: I’d rather not say.

Borders: Just an impression, and no offense, but would it be fair to say that your approach to people is guarded?

Bernie: Fair to whom?

Borders: Good point. But what I’m leading to is the idea that the only being you really open up to is your dog Chet.

Bernie: I don’t think of him as my dog.

Borders: How do you think of him?

Bernie: We’re partners, Chet and I.

Borders: In the Little Detective Agency?

Bernie: That’s part of it.

Borders: Tell us about the Agency – how you got started, what kind of cases you take on, the highs and lows.

Bernie: I worked in law enforcement here in the Valley after I got out of the Army, and after a few years went out on my own.

Borders: You’re a graduate of West Point?

Bernie: Yes.

Borders: And you played baseball there?

Bernie: Uh-huh.

Borders: What position?

Bernie: Pitcher.

Borders: Did you harbor any dreams of playing in the Majors?

Bernie: Not realistic ones.

Borders: I understand you fought in Desert Storm. What can you tell us about that?

Bernie: I came back in one piece.

Borders: Let’s get to Chet. I take it you first encountered him on that notorious final day of his at K-9 school.

Bernie: Notorious?

Borders: The day Chet flunked out of the program. Perhaps we can say “eventful.”

Bernie: All right.

Borders: What were the circumstances?

Bernie: I just happened to be there, as a guest of Lt. Stine of the Valley PD.

Borders: A close reading of Dog On It suggests that a cat and blood were involved in Chet’s failure.

Bernie: I wouldn’t use the word “failure.”

Borders: But were a cat and blood part of the story?

Bernie: I couldn’t say for sure. It all happened very fast.

Borders: And you took Chet home that night?

Bernie: Yes.

Borders: You were married at the time. Reading between the lines, it’s my impression that your then-wife Leda didn’t bond quite so closely with Chet as you did.

Bernie: Now you’re getting into personal territory.

Borders: This is a promotional-type interview, after all.

Bernie: Maybe for you.

Borders: Uh, could you talk about your finances a bit? It’s repeatedly suggested in Dog On It that they’re “a mess.”

Bernie: We’re doing all right.

Borders: But what about the problem of those private school tuition payments you’re obligated to pay for your son Charlie even though you’re not the custodial –

Bernie (interrupting): Nothing about my son is a problem – and he’s off-limits for the purposes of this discussion.

Borders: No need to get up, Mr. Little. That’s better. Mind if I ask you your height and weight?

Bernie: six-two, two-oh-five.

Borders: And you seem to keep yourself in pretty good shape.

Bernie: Not really.

Borders: I’d imagine Chet’s in good shape, too.

Bernie: The best.

Borders: What makes him such a good detective? His hearing? Smelling ability? Strength? Endurance?

Bernie: Chet understands people. That what makes him such a good detective.

Borders: What’s the best thing about your job?

Bernie: Solving cases, missing children’s cases especially, when we bring them back safe.

Borders: And the worst?

Bernie: Seeing what some people will do to other people.

Borders: You seem to have taught Chet many things. He can open certain kinds of doorknobs, for example, and find buried evidence.

Bernie: Chet picks up some things pretty easily. But what I’ve taught him doesn’t compare to what he’s taught me.

Borders: Oh? Like what?

Bernie: The most important thing Chet taught me – and it’s something I’m still working on – is to get everything you can out of life. But that’s him barking outside. Nice meeting you.

CD’s Bernie is currently listening to:

Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday (Bernie gets the feeling that Chet especially enjoys Roy Eldridge’s trumpet solos.)

The Steeldrivers

When I Stop Dreaming: The Best of the Louvin Brothers

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music: Ray Charles

Gently Weeps: Jake Shimabukuro (Bernie plays the ukulele a bit himself, but not like this.)

Books on Bernie’s bedside table:

Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words, by Douglas L. Wilson

Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West, by Hampton Sides

How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners, by the Monks of New Skete


The Life


September 15th, 2010 Posted 7:56 am

We drove away from Cactus Heights, Lt. Stine, ambulance, crime scene tape, all that.

“The hard part is going to be keeping Ray out of this,” Bernie said.

And if he said it, I believed it, a good thing, because I’d been thinking that the hard part for me was trying to remember what was going on with the case, and now I didn’t have to worry about that.

Bernie sighed. “Guess it’s time for us to head for L.A.,” he said. “Not my favorite place, and it’s going to raise Bob’s bill, but what choice do we have?”

I didn’t know. Soon we were on a freeway, driving toward the sun, which was sinking in the sky and getting bigger and redder as it did. Loved seeing that! Bernie switched on the music. Billie Holiday and If You Were Mine, Roy Eldridge on trumpet. That trumpet did things to me, hard to describe. This was the life.


Desert Highways

1 Comment »

February 7th, 2009 Posted 1:40 pm

When we’re on a case we spend lots of time in the Porsche, me and Bernie. Bernie drives, I ride shotgun. This is a real old Porsche, by the way. Sometimes strange noises happen and then Bernie pulls over and gets out the tools. That never ends well. I try not to watch. But the point is while we’re in the car, especially on those long desert stretches, we listen to music. Lots of Billie Holiday – I love when the trumpet comes in. Roy Eldridge, Bernie says. Wow. Does things up and down my spine. Also the Louvin brothers – that brother with the high voice, he gets those spine things going too. What I don’t get is how come Bernie’s a big fan of Bob Dylan. Doesn’t that voice hurt his ears? I’ve done a lot of staring at Bernie’s ears. His nose, of course, like all human noses, is tiny and useless. But human ears, not what you’d call big, aren’t tiny, either. So why don’t they work better? Does Bernie hear much when he’s listening to music? Sometimes I worry.


The Books

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