I hope my point of view will ease your daily grind. At the very least, if Chet Baker has any influence on what I write, you’ll remember somewhere the sun is shining whenever the skies are blue. I know, just know, as Chet so aptly sings, “A heart, full of joy and gladness,
will always banish sadness and strife” in your life. If not forever, maybe for a few minutes.
It did last Friday night for me. “Silver Linings” painted my heavens a spectacular shade of musical wonderment. This comfortable musical couplet sang their cover songs, shoes off, voices on key and guitars well above average. To be expected. I’ve known and heard Rick and Michelle before last Friday night. They’re spectacular.
Skies were overcast when the text came thundering across my phone hours earlier. It was to be another musical experience – another event to set up around a stage to sell food-stuffs to attendees coming to hear a cover band play … outside. Aaand … another rain-out to cap off a few weeks of miserableness in what’s known as concession craziness – i.e., planning and preparing – over and over – only to get the notice of a cancellation of postponement due to wetness dropping down from the unforgiving dark skies.
Should be comfortable with the news, but I never am. There’s always hope the traffic signal colors I see creeping across my weather radar screens will stop short and disappear before the first downbeat. Unfortunately, most organizers have to make the call hours earlier – before sound checks and food trucks fill the airwaves and concrete. So, this was my Friday, day. The text arrived around 2:00 pm. Concert at 6:00, postponed until September.
The silver lining? I finally got to enjoy my musical self!
Table 10 was a surprisingly comfortable round corner conversational buffet. The banquet room at the U.S. Hotel in Hollidaysburg is a large, acoustically challenging room where – on any other occasion – steady, mature adults would sit sipping wine, eating hor d’oeuvres, and flapping about the day’s news. With cans of craft beer of which I didn’t indulge, great food, and conversations concerning matters of an adult nature, our table was unsteadily hilarious, immaturedly necessary,… and just what was needed.
Words among friends. Ah, yes. Even those I met for the first time. Connections were different. I knew this person … Who knew this one … Who didn’t know him, but knew of that one because of her … kinda thing going on. It didn’t take long for us to become comfortable with one another. Music and theater have that adhesiveness. Once folks realize the connection, it’s magic.
Hours of chair-scooting between the table next to us, in order to chat with friends I don’t see regularly, was a necessary pleasant surprise. On occasion, an acquaintance would stop over to gain a quick, “Hey, what’s up?”, or “Nice to see you …”. A former piano student approached to say, “Hi!”, and get caught up with life as I sipped my innocent Pepsi. All the while, a great friend and I were getting caught up as she sat to my left upon arriving late. Losing a husband recently is tough, so I assume a night away – among her very busy social schedule – was a pleasant exhale for her. Her gray skies are gonna clear up.
As all the chit-chat and frivolity was happening, Rick and Michelle continued onward. Lyrics floated above all the tables … Folks went about their own week-ending, calming conversations. I suspect our table 10 subject matter uniquely surpassed any limitations unconsciously plated on any other table that evening. With two confirmed witches and a crystal/wellness store proprietor in tow, our table was a-rockin’ with distinctive dialogue. Throw in a few discussions about bisexuality, shoe and fashion choices, blueberries, and weed, … I would’ve challenged you to find another table that night with greater color and flavor in their words.
Yep, it was a silver lining for me. I did Kristopherson my way into the hearts of those around me as I Shallow-ly dueted the chorus over top of clanging dishes removed every now and then. S’ok. I don’t fancy myself a singer, so having forks and glasses as an accompaniment was a nice go-along considering most weren’t listening, anyway. Maybe if I had the Bradley Cooper looks, Star is Born thing going on and Lady Gaga talent? …
It’s enough to say I had a really good time. A “Silver Linings” good time. It would not have happened if Rick and Michelle weren’t scheduled to play that evening, so here’s to them … and all the local musicians everywhere who go out and perform. You bring joy and happiness into our worlds – and our table 10’s. Even if we’re not paying full attention, our hearts are in the music passing through our ears. We are with your every pulse, every lyric, every smile.
I don’t want a lot of cancellations. My bills don’t need them. Chet can sing of silver linings all he wants, but the bank wants loans paid, regardless. Too many rainy days and Mondays will always get me down, Ms Karen Carpenter. These are the facts and figures in what I do for a living. However, for a Friday evening in the middle of a rainy stretch, I’ll take table 10 for a few hours. The friends, music, and conversation were my silver lining in an otherwise cloudy day.
Let’s take our calming cue from my happy human friends, Rick and Michelle. Ease your daily grind by tossing off your shoes once in a while and singing the chorus from your favorite rainy day song. Remember, when music floats above, skies are always blue.