Site Meter Elsie's Space: Sidewalk Sounds
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Location: New England, United States

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sidewalk Sounds

Tuesday must have been the day for music. After my little incident at the grocer (embarrassing hint for Mary: "Well he's tickling her fancy, rubbing her toes, muzzle to to muzzle, now anything goes"), I was well into earworm (love that word) land. It was a beautiful day so daughter and I took a walk around the neighborhood.

On our way around the block, we ran into an old friend and neighbor of mine who's a well-known blues man in these parts. He greeted me with, "Hi beautiful. You're out walking with your girl, and I'm out walking with mine (his dog)." We chatted for a bit, and he mentioned that he'd been in the studio making a record with his new band. I told him that daughter wanted to hear him sing in person because she liked listening to his CDs and that when he played an appropriate venue, I'd bring her. So he asked her, "What do you want me to sing?" She shrugged and hid her head (oh to be eight and able to hide my head whenever I feel embarrassed). Then, right there on the sidewalk, he breaks into a bluesy version of "Would You Like to Swing on a Star." What a great choice for a little girl! She loved it. The next thing you know, the three of us were dancing (really more like swaying) on the sidewalk. After performing our little routine, we said our goodbyes and went on our way.

Daughter was loaded with questions. "Why did he say 'record'?" "I don't know. He meant CD." "I think it's because he's old. I think he's 60." (Dave would love to hear that -- he's young 50's.) "Didn't you say he doesn't sing unless he gets paid?" "Hmmmm. I don't remember saying that. I think I probably said he gets paid to sing because he's a professional singer." "Well, why didn't you pay him?" "Because, honey, he sang that special song just for you. I don't think he'd want us to pay him." She blushed with pleasure. "Because you are still friends?" "Yes. We're still friends." "But he doesn't come over to visit." "Oh, I know. But when we were young we used to spend a lot of time together. Now we're both busy doing different things. It's kind of like all the friends you have in school. They're your friends, but they don't all come over to visit." "No, Mom, I think it's because he has bigger and better things to do." That's telling me. "Okay, I'll go along with that." "Why do you kiss him when you see him?" "I don't know. That's just what we've always done." "Does Dad mind? You kissed last time right in front of Dad!!" "No. Daddy doesn't mind. I don't kiss him the same way I kiss Dad." "Oh. Well why does he call you "Beautiful" every time we see him?" "I don't' know. He always has. I think he calls all women "Beautiful." "No he doesn't. When we saw him when we were with Denise he said, 'Hi, Denise. Hey, Beautiful." Gee, she remembers everything. "It's just because we've been friends for so long, and he doesn't know Denise that well."

It was getting to the point where all the questions were starting to drive me crazy. Plus I feared she'd ask something that I'd really rather not answer. So I started to sing, "Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar..." "Um, Mom?" "Yes?" "Dave sings way better than you do." Maybe I should have reconsidered and stuck with the talk. Instead I chose to hum, but in my head the words were 'Would you like to be an old mom...sing in public, you'll surely bomb...."

It was a memorable day.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Winston said...

Hi, Beautiful!

(Just had to do that...)

Is there anything more precious than the innocence of youth? Or more liberating than the freedom and spontaneity to sing and dance right out on the sidewalk for the world to see? Or frustrating than the endless questions of a child who won't be satisfied until every detail is explained?

Beautiful story by a beautiful person...

9:14 AM  
Blogger Elsie said...

No. No. And No. And now I'm hiding my head, Winston ;)

6:57 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

What a lovely man! And what a great thing to do for a young girl.

I think you fielded those questions well. But I don't envy you having that little bright spark growing up with you!!

10:03 AM  
Blogger Elsie said...

Liz, I think your three sparks were just as bright at age eight, you just don't remember.

Both of my kidlets keep me on my toes!

12:11 PM  

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