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Leaving A Musical Home

August 2, 2002

Jennifer David played at Normandie Farm every weekend for the past seven years, attracting a loyal crowd of regular listeners.

David performed there for the last time on Saturday.

"I've been coming here for years and years and it's just not going to be the same," said Jean Melkin, a fan at David's last performance. "Jennifer is special and we'll miss her."

Last week, David introduced her debut CD titled "It's About Time," with a signing party in Margery’s Lounge inside the restaurant.

David described her musical philosophy: "Be true to yourself, be true to your audience, and be yourself. Do what you do."

What she does is bring joy to her listeners, said Donna Morris, another David fan. "She's like a rose — the petals keep unfolding."

"This place has been a very important part of my life,” said Herbert Duke, known to regulars as "the duke," who has been coming to Normandie Farm for 55 years. "I'm envisioning the lounge with Jennifer being the personality displaying her feelings to her great beautiful talents of music and singing."

David’s father was an orchestra leader and radio and TV personality, and her mother was a professional singer. In her past, David appeared as a co-host of a two-hour daily radio talk program that featured interviews and live music in St. Louis. She also co-hosted the Variety Club Telethon with Monte Hall.

Locally, and since the mid 1980s, before her Normandie Farm stint, David performed at Marriott Corporation's flagship hotel, the JW Marriott on 14th Street, the Landsdowne Resort, and the former Ritz Carleton on Embassy Row.

In a way, Normandie Farm became David's musical home.

"I like making a room feel like my living room and a big party every weekend," she said.

"She always makes you happy," said Marianne Paluck. "Weekends won't be the same without her."

Philip Mastro agreed. "She's a great entertainer and she plays to the clients that are in here," he said. "We're going to miss her. She's perfect for this room. She fits it very well."

David will likewise miss her loyal fans at Normandie Farm. "I've had a wonderful seven years here," she said. "I've found and made my truest and best friends here."

David is moving to Charleston, South Carolina and "looking forward to spending more time with my husband of 29 years, and maybe watch a movie on a Friday or Saturday night" she said.

"When I open the refrigerator door and light goes on, and I start singing, then I'll know it's time to find another gig."