Joe Lederman – No Stairway! Denied!
Couple’s Love Song: I Can’t Quit You Baby by Willie Dixon
I was new to Orlando, where I moved to get my Master’s. My singer/songwriter friend from high school told me about a groovy little joint near my apartment called Natura––a coffee/tea place that hosts live music and poetry readings at night. I really dig acid jazz and saw they were featuring a local acid jazz trio after one of my classes, so I went by for some tea. I was wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt, and this guy with some gorgeous Jew curls came up to me and asked me if I loved Zeppelin. I said of course and told him I’m the girl with the long black wavy hair Plant sings about in the BBC Sessions. We chatted some deep cuts, and I noticed his eyes glitter when I brought up “Gallows Pole”. He explained that he had written an article for the Central Florida Future (a UCF campus newspaper) a few years back about how too many Millennials have a bad habit of wearing band shirts of bands they don’t even listen to, like Zeppelin, Floyd, etc. After some more rock chatter, he suggested we head two doors down to a relatively new local drinking hole called Public House.
After bonding over mutual hoppy IPA love, we quickly realized that not only are we both South Florida Jews, but also each have Colombian parents from Bogota, which ostensibly means somehow our families knew each other. We had a nice buzz kicking, so I don’t remember much of the 3-hour conversation, but I do remember that there were zero awkward silences; it was all fluid chatter. Things I do remember: 1) nervously asking if he partook in the art of cannabis (you never know in Florida); he teased me and saying “no!” with a shocked face, and then cracking up adorably (this is important, since Nancy Botwin (from Showtime’s Weeds) is my spirit animal, if you will); 2) learning he worked as a drum instructor at the Orlando School of Rock––to which I retorted something about the movie and how Joan Cusack singing Edge of Seventeen is one of the best things ever––and that he was the drummer for a local space rock band that’s toured all over the country (dreamy!).
I called my grandmother the next morning who told me that she knew the Ledermans very well. Dr. Lederman, Joe’s father, was their doctor for years in Miami (where they all live now). My grandfather claims Dr. Lederman saved his life in the 90s. A few years ago, they became good friends and they all go out for dinner quite often. I actually missed meeting them at a BBQ the Summer prior, because I was at Naropa’s Summer Writing Program and Joe was roadtripping with some of his bandmates. My next call was to my Mom, who laughed hysterically and said she was good friends with my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s kid sister back in Bogota, so she used to sleepover there a lot, and to this day has only the best memories of Joe’s grandparents.
Needless to say, if they would have set us up, we never would have taken them up on it. And now, they all boast about how two kids from “the community” found each other, fell in love, and moved to Denver together