The past tense of see… how about see-saw. A man playing the saw is not something you see often. And a man playing a saw with a coffin in the background would be even more rare. Apropos, we met up with a group who advocated death with dignity. Bury yourself. Well, not quite. But you can build your own coffin and be buried on your own land and …. well, there are no rules in most states. I won’t go into details except that people don’t… and they don’t pay exorbitant funeral expense. And so on… so there was this man playing a saw…
I just met this instrument again for the first time at a Celtic concert at our library. I have seen Maggie and her step puppets before. This time the instrument made more sense and had more meaning. It’s just time, experience, and a little percolation. It’s all cool. Maggie’s gadget synchronizes the step puppets to her music. Yup, she literally steps on a board and the puppet move to the time of her dulcimer.
Biggs Museum. It’s the best little museum ever! Free food! Ha! It was a concert event for the artist. She painted with pieces of music in mind. Musicians came to perform pieces with her art in mind. It was a grand event. We were fortunate to attend.
I can read music! I followed the pianist as she played and read her score. I followed the measures. She had to play many redundant same notes following the measures as she read. I wonder? How does she keep track as she plays the same note over and over. I’m sure I’d lose track and miss a note here and there. Besides, if she did, would anyone know? Hey! I don’t read music that well. My only regret is that I never paid enough attention while my kids were in the same music theory class as Alicia Keyes. Nor did I bother to record her early piano concerts when my kids played too. But, I suppose something rubbed off.
We went to Salisbury University. I was a commuter to NYU. So, I never set foot in the cafeteria. Hospitals are the pits. Jules had a decent cafeteria at Hamilton College. However, after a semester of cafeteria food, every kid craves outside food. So, we ate in restaurants whenever I visited her. Here we are in Salisbury listening to a warm up blue grass concert before the main even in the music hall. Wow! And the food was varied. It was Mardi Gras theme night. Wow (again), it’s nearly decent and way different than any school cafeteria I had experienced before. You pay more (tuition) now. So, I guess you eat better too. I would almost eat there again… not.
It’s a roundabout story that began in Jeddah a few years back. I was sitting in a Chinese restaurant – Chopsticks. The background music track played Cavatina. I knew this song?! Of course, it was a movie sound track? I think? Siri can’t help me. She could if I played the music into my iPhone. But my “humming” the melody came up empty. Aha?! Hum it and send it to others – a PhD music professor in Ohio, or his wife an accomplished musician in her own right. Nope. No dice. Clueless! (they probably won’t see this post.)
Fast forward a few years….I’m at the local library for a classical guitar concert. Yeah, really! What do old people do in the middle of the afternoon? And this was on Peter Fletcher’s program – with explanation. The Deer Hunter! – 1979 – Meryl Streep, Robrert DiNiro, Christopher Walken. Sad haunting! Viet Nam era. What I remembered of the plot was Russian roulette and that one of the stars kills himself when his luck ran out (doesn’t it always?).
For such a beautiful tune, it’s a gruesome plot twist. To recall all of this now… it’s a full circle completed. I’m not sure I really am happy to know. Look up the song at least. You might be haunted too.
The New York Times likes to publish articles about 36 hours in…. ‘you name the city.’ Here is my … evening in Kansas City. We arrived after dark. It was really a pass-through heading to Denver. But since I had been here last year, I had some foreknowledge. We chose Grunauer Restaurant and the Red Lady Lounge. The restaurant is a German restaurant with schnitzel my latest favorite food. It is a pounded thin cutlet breaded and fried up. There were alternate selections for my gluten free vegetarian companion. The restaurant was not crowded and the meal was great. We can’t predict traffic and could not schedule any events. Perfect. The other “drop in” was the Red Lady Lounge. I am not a bar person. I don’t drink alcohol. But jazz is fun: no cover: dark: in a very untraveled part of town. In other words, you would not necessarily go here or want to park your car here. The music was good. The sound was poorly balanced. Hey, it was live and we sat next to the organ. Impromptu jamming, a very laid back relaxed atmosphere, it was a very pleasant end to the day. Yes, we packed a lot into one evening in KC.
…Lounge. It’s a dive bar. Dark. It’s listed as a top destination for jazz in Kansas City. We were there twice for three groups. You’d be afraid to open the door. The neighborhood was deserted – both nights – at 7PM! The music was great. We guessed about the bio of the musicians. Two of three groups were music educators playing a gig on the side. The third was the house band. The singer’s name was on the drink menu. That was pretty cool. The band wore tie and jacket. We wore jeans. It was all cool. Jazz!
I attended a welcome dinner. Two physicians joined our department. I live modestly in hospital housing. This was an opportunity to see how the other half lives. It’s a separation of sexes. No females were in attendance. Someone brought their son. Otherwise it was a banquet of males. Lamb is roasted on a skewer. Standard fare. The sides included lots of rice, salad, and fruit, followed by dessert. Afterward our host played traditional music accompanied by his son. From the outside, the walls are high and drab. Inside, the accommodations are quite the opposite. Elaborate and ornate, it reflected a long life of collecting the trappings of wealth and success. Me? I’m living in two suitcases, ready to go if it’s imperative. The bulk of it will be my dive gear. I’m of the opinion that you can’t take it with you…but…. you can sure store it somewhere else. To be fair, I’ve got a lot of junk sitting around somewhere else… Please don’t laugh too hard.