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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keep the 'Hi-de-ho' Man's house for jazz history

Couldn't resist posting this exchange and appeal . Some things should stay as they are

Release Date: June 13, 2008
Greenburgh Town Clerk Judith Beville and I met with Cab Calloway¹s daughter
yesterday. Cecelia Calloway is seeking assistance with a project to preserve
the Cab Calloway house at 1040 Knollwood Road as a historical landmark.
Greenburgh played an important role in music, jazz and the arts during the
last century. It is our hope that we can prevent the house from being
demolished. If you¹re interested in working with us in our efforts to save
the Calloway House and to preserve the property as a historic landmark
please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com and Judith Beville at
jbeville@greenburghny.com. The following is a letter received from Cecilia
Lael Calloway today.

Hi-De-Ho Paul Feiner,

I am Cecelia Lael Calloway, the daughter of Cab Calloway and I¹m seeking
your assistance with a project that I strongly believe will benefit the Town
of Greenburgh in several ways. My father, Cab Calloway, called Greenburgh
home for many years. He truly loved living in this town and he often said he
would like to have his legacy kept alive here. I want to acquire the house
on Knollwood Road and use it as base to celebrate his life, music, and
legacy. I envision this location being used to preserve an important piece
of Greenburgh¹s history, provide many educational opportunities to learn
about the cultural and musical history, and provide a location to feature
jazz performances, dance, sculpture, display memorabilia from Dad¹s life,
photographs, story telling and a functioning recording studio.

Your support would be such a great honor to me, my family and dad. I
believe it is imperative to save, preserve and operate the old Calloway home
where I met so many great celebrities visiting Dad. My associates and I are
embarking on preserving the energies and spirits of celebrities and friends
of yesterday who visited dad in celebration at our old home.

Here are just a few of these legendary performers who spent time at the
Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., E. Simms
Campbell. dinners with Dizzy Gillespie, Loentyne Price, Pearl Bailey,
Slappy White, Gordon Parks, Eddie Haywood, Nipsie Russell, Michael Jackson,
Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, big parties with the Harlem Globe Trotters, Lionel
Hampton, Panama Francis, Dave Brubeck, Billy Eckstine, Roy Campanalla and
Cab¹s band members; Milt Hinton, Fletcher Henderson, Chuck Berry, Cozy Cole,
and the great producer of Hello Dolly, David Merrick.

The house is currently for sale and I understand developers have shown
interest in acquiring the property for possible subdivision, meaning the
demolition of this historically valuable location. We need to move quickly
to make this dream happen. I believe the best vehicle for maintaining this
location on a longterm basis would be to form a local charitable
organization or foundation that would:

1. Operate exclusively for charitable, educational, and civic purposes as
referred to in Sections 501(c) (3) and 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue
Code, generally referred to as ³exempt purposes².

2. To promote and fund the preservation of Cab Calloway name, likeness,
music history and legacy locally and worldwide.

3. To produce fund raising events, activities and concerts for the Calloway
house revival and preservation.

4. To purchase, renovate and expand the old Calloway home (1040 Knollwood
Rd., White Plains, N.Y.) with showcase rooms, sound recording and music
facility for continuous Calloway operations and projects

5. To sponsor multi-media, music and arts programs and projects for
underprivileged youth, youth at risk, the school system, the local
historical and arts organizations, and places of Higher learning such as
colleges and universities.

Of course, these are preliminary ideas, but I think with your help, and the
help of any interested groups and citizens, we can preserve this important
piece of Greenburgh¹s history. If this dream is to become reality, time is
of the essence, the clock is ticking and the wrecker¹s ball is looming
I hope you will join me in getting the word out to those who might be
interested in making this happen.


Cecelia Lael Calloway

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