Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, August 3, 2012


There's an old place where people go, to meet and have a little bite to eat.
Actually, it's not been around as long as all that, but the local Senior Center is a veritable hive of activity sometimes- like last week when there was an end of the month party, and a musical band performed after lunch. 
There were perhaps six or seven members, all of the senior variety, working away on various instruments like guitars or keyboard, and everybody had something to either strum or beat or rattle.
I kept my eyes on one lady in particular.
A scarlet hat was perched atop her head; it matched to the precise shade her lipstick, her dress, and the tambourine she thrashed against her right leg in tandem to the music.
She also had a voice to accompany her fellow musicians, and she thoroughly used it, belting out a Glenn Miller tune that the rapt audience was familiar with.

"Way down south in Birmingham
I mean south in Alabam'
There's an old place where people go
To dance the night away..."

Slowly and surely some patrons were dusting the lunch crumbs from their laps and rising out of their seats to sway to the rhythm.
I still kept my eye on the lady in red, even as I attempted to wipe the tables post-lunch.
There were vases brimming with summer flowers on each table, and I admit I might have scrubbed a flower or two by mistake, captivated as I was by this lady who seemed to travel somewhere else with her voice, and took everyone else with her, perhaps a couple of generations and another era back in time.
She stood at the microphone belting that red red tambourine against her red red dress, occasionally turning a page of her songbook but never missing a beat.

Between the voice and the setting and everything being so red and generally outstanding, it was some time- several Glenn Miller type crooning tunes later- that I at last noticed the enormous crutch under her left arm, the crutch that was holding her up and providing support while she provided music.

...Where people go
To dance the night away...

...And to forget, possibly, for the briefest spell, that there's any such thing in the world as a rotten old crutch, so that they can get on with essentials, such as music and dancing and having a whale of a time.

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