August turned into September and term started. Juno’d gotten no closer over the summer to a better option than going back to school, nor to finding out what the real deal was with anything. But she had enjoyed herself occasionally. So she kept on visiting the coffee houses. Talk was of a new one shortly opening in Calgary, which had so far been without a permanent folk venue. The leaflets were out.
Thus on Friday, September 13, Juno went along to the opening night of The Depression, in the guise of an art school student with paint on his hands and a snazzy beret. The place was pretty aptly named. Visually it was one of the least appealing establishments on the circuit. A dreary staircase plunged down to a murky, low-ceilinged basement with bare walls and the usual mix-and-not-match furniture. It was packed, though. The main act that night was Peter Elbling, an Englishman Juno’d seen in Toronto before and who was pretty good, in the sense that she had to stare right at him to make him sing flat. But first John, the owner, a genial giant with a neat take on those chin beards that seemed to be springing up everywhere right now, welcomed everybody and told the story of how he’d come to Calgary from Toronto and missed a coffee house so much that he just had to open his own. He went on to plug his regular events, which included the usual poetry and audition nights, and so on. Obviously Sunday was hoot night. But of course all this was new to the excited local crowd. ‘And now I’d like to introduce a great new talent from right here in Calgary,’ John concluded. ‘Please give it up for… Joni Anderson!’