hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Like Being in the 19th Century

The Victorian era famously had evenings in which friends, invited for dinner, perhaps, after dinner entertained one another in the parlor: they played music or sang, they gave readings, or recited poetry. All amateurs.  What people did before TV came to control us.  Being at last night's Spring Fling talent show was like going back to those days, without the dinner but with lots of exceptionally nice desserts, and neighborly entertainment.

Here were lots of folks I knew doing things that, for the most part, I didn't know they knew how to do.  Nobody was a professional (with a couple of exceptions) and the performances ranged from kids playing the piano as in a spring recital, complete with bows, to teenage guitarists, and retirees cutting up a storm on a Yamaha keyboard or playing "Jingle Bells" on a french horn mouthpiece and then on just her mouth  (I really don't know how to describe that one).  There were even two oral interpretations, plus a reading of "The Ballad of Sam Magee," a Robert Service poem I had memorized in high school and not thought of since (amazingly, I still remembered large sections of it; might we ask why the brain doesn't have a better cleaning-out service?  Surely, if it weren't remembering Sam Magee, it would do a better job at remembering the name of someone I have just met?).  There was a one-act play, and a portion of a one-act opera.  And, although I don't want to just recite the names of the players, I am inclined to take note of Campbell McClusky's thespian skills: he appeared in both the one-act play and the opera piece.  Hearing Ian and Sylvia's "Four Strong Winds" and John Denver's "Sunshine" more than competently sung brought us old people in the audience (who were a lot younger when those were heard everywhere you listened) to soft sing-along mode.

Forty or fifty people turned out to chat and eat and watch and clap, to support the cause and to be good witnesses to what was happening: and a good time was had by all.  Good luck to the local kids who take on the summer jobs that all this will go to fund.  We wish them well, and we all ought to be thanking the organizers.  It's stuff like this that is required to make this community more than just another suburb.  Here on Memorial Day, we can take some time to remember not only those who have died but also those who are still living...next door to us, e.g.

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