There was a time when I was playing saxophone on the streets of Berkeley, sort of on a dare to myself, not really for the money. (I sometimes played with an older trumpet player. One night he told me that we couldn't stop until we had enough for his phone bill. I wanted to give him my share, but he wouldn't let me. It wound up being a late night.) One night, this guy came by who looked sort of familiar but I didn't know from where. Then I recognized Billy Higgins and remembered that Milt Jackson was in town and realized that he was the earlier guy. I put down my saxophone and chased after him to shake his hand and thank him for inspiring me. Which was a bonehead move. Not because something happened to my saxophone, it was safe, but because, since he had heard my playing, I wasn't sure he wanted to claim responsibility for my so-called inspiration. Oh, well. At least he had put some money in the case.
And he had hands that were softer and more supple than my grandmother's.