Saturday, August 16, 2008

A lot going on, what with an unexpected mild spell, weather reasonable and even pleasant for the first august in my fourteen-year memory of life in carbondale. someone pointed out that it had been nice since the huge storm we had back at the end of july, or was it the beginning of august, that shut down the university and the server and caused one of my classes to be cancelled and another to be let out early, with no internet to do the lesson on. but with the beautiful weather it seemed like everyone, myself included, wanted to get out and enjoy what we could: off to the lake i went, and took the boys, then did it again when my sister was here, then did it yet again before my oldest son went back to college. the lake, quiet, calm, regal cliffs watching over it, the perfect place for a nice day, the water clear and cool and refreshing, and the boys happily learning skills of jumping in, diving around, playing, learning to swim.

when my sister was here, we went to the quilt museum, by far the best cultural attraction of the area, a fantastic place, though difficult to contain a very young child in. next time, he'll be older, i promise, i told them as i left, exasperated, and embarassed that at one point he had actually turned off all the lights of the entire museum, wanting attention increasingly more desperately, as i became increasingly more interested by what i saw; i love the place, couldn't help looking. my sister, i think, enjoyed it, enjoyed the quilts, the nephews, and graciously provided a beautiful clarinet to a peace coalition performance...a stunning surprise performance for a small town that doesn't hear clarinet like that very often. our luck with the weather continued, even up to and including today; unseasonably reasonable, a breath of unusually livable summer. played some more music tonight; filled a backyard with fiddle and banjo, with friends who had a birthday.

a moment of silence, now, for lee baber, a fellow webhead, fellow banjo-picker, taught folks, and clearly made a difference, both to her students, and to the online community where i met her.

just in a couple of ways, i've noticed, the banjo has been coming back in style. i may be wrong about this, who knows? maybe it's on its way down, or going nowhere, but i've detected a subtle up-jump in its general popularity, this time not guided by a certain song like beverly hillbillies or deliverance. just maybe because of its general good sound, its quirkiness, its unique american characteristics, and, by the fact that you don't hear it all that much: these are good enough reasons to bring it back. if i could only learn more than one song or two, i'd be set. give up my day-job, and go to nashville.
chou.

2 Comments:

Blogger J-Funk said...

I love the phrase "unseasonably reasonable"

When it's hot again you might say "unreasonably seasonable"

11:14 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Tom--I've noticed banjo in Sufjan Stevens songs and Feist songs. I think it's around and here to stay. Loved your comments on the child in the quilt museum. I have a 3 year old and she does some embarrassing things, but they make really good stories later.
-Kathy Ramsey

6:36 PM  

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