‘Yeah, at the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton! It’s a jazz joint really, but it was hoot night! I could take you some real neat places ’round here if you wanna hook up sometime, like the Inquisition… What ’bout tonight?’

Juno wasn’t planning on seeming remotely interested, so she put another quick spell on Kent for him to tell her all about that club.

‘Yeah, it was hoot night! What that means is that different acts play short solo sets, and then everybody joins together for a couple songs. This was a great one! Bonnie Dobson was there, and the Travellers…’ Kent seemed exhausted by being that factual.

Juno undid the spell and said sweetly, ‘No, thanks. Gotta go. Bye.’

While pop called, ‘She’s ready, Kent!’ and a young man on his forecourt briefly puzzled over who that might be and who this Kent was anyway, Juno strode off wondering what it all meant. She had no idea what a solo set was or who these travellers were anyway. All she knew was that there’d been some involuntary reaction inside her, which didn’t usually happen. She needed to go with it. She needed to check out that folk club, whatever it was.

 

She did so there and then. It was in downtown Edmonton, on Jasper Avenue, up a steep stairway and above a hardware store. Nowhere near as romantic as the name had made Juno expect. Obviously nobody was there at this time of day, but outside the door hung a blackboard listing upcoming events. Sunday night was the next hootenanny, as a one-off instead of the regular jazz session. The board also mentioned something about membership. Juno wasn’t worried about that. It would hardly be a problem.

She returned the following night at nine. She didn’t know what the dress code was for a hoot night, so she’d put on a neat skirt and blouse. But she wasn’t worried about that, either. People rarely noticed her clothes.