The man, recalls Stewart
, now 63, was surrounded by a bevy of adoring "ladies with these short dresses and big, old butts."
had on a black suit," Stewart
"I'll never forget all the gold on his
"Lowell, you so crazy!
remembers one of the women playfully calling out to the man.
Later that day, after mowing his
family's lawn, Stewart
ripped a cardboard placard off a telephone pole in front of the house to use as a dustpan for the freshly cut grass.
ran into the house to show his
said excitedly, "this is the man I saw.
This is him.
This is that man with that funny name."
According to Stewart
, who now lives in Vallejo, his
mother was not impressed.
"She said, 'Oh, that's a musician,'" he recalls.
"'You don't even wanna look at that.
Just go on and get outta here, boy, and put the grass on that.'"
But spotting blues-singing guitarist Fulson that day changed the young man's life.
"That was my first introduction to the music industry, looking at the glamorous life," says Stewart
, who was playing blues guitar himself by the time he
was in junior high school.
He now serves as executive director of the Bay Area Blues Society, an organization he formed a half century ago with veteran bluesman Haskell "Cool Papa" Sadler.
Although Stewart told the East Bay Express in 2010 and the Los Angeles Times in 2011 that the society's "The Music They Played on Seventh Street" markers would be in place "soon," their manufacture and installation was put on hold when the financially strapped Oakland Redevelopment Agency dissolved in February 2012.
fingers crossed that funding for his
dream project will come through soon.
"Me and Cool Papa used to always talk about a hall of fame or walk of fame or some way to honor, like, the Fuller Brothers and people nobody never heard of nationally," he
Sharp-dressed man: Ronnie Stewart, director of the Bay Area Blues Society, credits 1960s West Oakland blues musician Lowell Fulson with inspiring his career.
"Me and Cool Papa used to always talk about a hall of fame or walk of fame or some way to honor, like, the Fuller Brothers and people nobody never heard of nationally."-Ronnie Stewart, Oakland blues guitarist and bandleader.