Friday, July 06, 2007

On the News

Several years ago now, a non-trad student took my Shakespeare class. Let's just say that I wasn't the oldest person in the room that term. I learned afterwards that he's an artist in town, who does a sort of art that's often publicly displayed. He invited me to his studio one day, and it was delightful.

I run into him in town sometimes, and we always have a nice chat, and often he tells me about this or that art piece being installed here or there.

Tonight, I had the news on in the background, and I sort of glanced over at just the right moment, and there's my student. It took me a moment to figure it out, since it wasn't a great picture of him, but then it became clear it was him. There he was, on the local evening news.

He wasn't on the news for his art, though.

Nope, he was on with his father and son, three generations who play in a local community band. Sometimes, the whole smallish town know lots of people around thing really is a whole lot of fun. You realize that seemingly quiet, unassuming folks contribute in significant and various ways to the community. And it's good for me to realize that.

I'm feeling stuck in my writing; I can't bear to even look at it, and I need to be revising.

And there's this family, three generations, doing their thing.

I think maybe I'm especially charmed by this story because when I was in high school, I played in the bands and orchestras, concert band, marching band, jazz band, concert orchestra, pit orchestras, you name it, I was pretty much in it (I played a few woodwinds, none of them well). My Dad had long played violin, and since they always needed strings in the pit orchestras, he and his friends from the community orchestras would play.

So we played in orchestras together, and eventually I played in community stuff with him, too. It was a wonderful way for me to develop a more adult relationship with my Dad, more good for me than I can really articulate. And my student's son, interviewed in the story, sounded like he had a great time making music with his dad and grandfather, too.


  1. Okay B, 'fess up. What did you play? I worked for a while as an orchestral flutist before being sidelined by an RSI injury ... Weird how clusters of people doing similar things now also did random similar things in the past :o)

  2. I tried to play oboe, and alto sax, primarily, and also ended up doing some English Horn and some tenor sax.

    The oboe is a terrible instrument for someone with a lousy ear! I would have done way better with a piano! Oboe also didn't seem likely to travel well to a rain forest environment...