The spirited sessions sometimes carried on after hours.
"Because of 'Stelle's' ruddy driveway, the police never did bother us, so we sometimes played after 3 a.m.," Mimi admits. "I remember Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse President Jack Gates bringing his fakebook and playing 'Stelle's grand piano 'til the wee hours. He also sat in on washtub bass. What a fun place!"
After Estelle died, Mimi says, Provo's was torn down, and now $125,000 homes are built on Provo Drive.
But not all of Mimi's gigs were quite so idyllic.
"During that era I got together an all-girl group to play Friday nights at the Valley American Legion in the city, " she says. "We were Mimi's Mamas, a quartet. Our drummer previously worked as a stripper at the Club Candee. One night at the Valley Legion we inadvertently began playing her old strip tune, 'Someday You'll Want Me to Want You.'"
Sure enough, the drummer took it as her cue to dance and she slowly, sensually started removing her clothes!
Jerry Crowley, the club manager, called Mimi over to the bar and said, "Mimi, make her stop. This is a family party."
Of course the drummer was fired, and when Mimi couldn't find another female drummer, she was replaced by a fellow, and the band became known as "Mimi's Mamas and Papa."
Sammy Hall of Famers here
Several Syracuse Area Music Awards Hall of Famers will help celebrate the first anniversary of Caf at 407, at Ophelia's Place, next week in the village.
The six-day concert series sponsored by Dot Foods kicks off at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29 with blue-eyed soul singer Joe Whiting. Tuesday features jazz vocalist Ronnie Leigh and Wednesday Dec. 1, Mario and Maria DeSantis will entertain.
Bob Halligan Jr. plays Dec. 2, followed by Oregon Trail Dec. 3.
The anniversary shows conclude with a noon performance on Dec. 4 by caf -favorite The Christopher Ames Band. Who's opening for Chris Ames that morning? An outta town act named Santa Claus.
For info, call the caf at 451-5855, or visit opheliasplace.org.