“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Marjorie Eliot says she really doesn’t have time to talk much on Sunday afternoons.
She’s busy setting up the snacks and orange juice for the group that she knows is coming. An hour before it’s time, they’re already waiting in the hallway.
“It’s what I do,” she tells me.
Eliot — writer, actress and musician – and her musician son, Rudel Drears, set up their apartment for entertainment.
“Every Sunday, we convene to offer free jazz concerts and we also have theater and spoken word,” he says.
Sunday’s aren’t particularly joyous day for Eliot. Her son, Philip, died on a Sunday in 1992. In 2006, it was her son Michael. In 2015, Alfie passed away.
So for the past 25 years, she and Drears have been holding the parlor concerts free of charge, along with snacks and orange juice, too. Nothing is expected of anyone, except having fun.
“It started off all of our neighbors and friends coming, we’d get people from the laundry room. A lot of time was spent on the phone,” says Drears. “These days, people just come from all over, as well as our neighbors from Harlem, and New York and beyond.”
“I wish I could have some sort of telepathy so you can feel my brain. I mean, there’s no words,” one man said.
“It was so touching. I could have cried often,” a woman added.
As for Eliot, who puts out so much, it’s the audience that she thanks for coming and being part of her Sunday.
“The angels smile on this,” she told them. “God has his mission for all of us, and you’re the prettiest part of this story.”
Sundays will never be the same for her. So she tries to make sense of it every Sunday for a song.