Ramblings from the Cove...

August 2017

By Lars Gren

Summer Ramblings from the Cove

I’ve overheard one say, “Oh, it was or is so unique.” To which my English professor, brother-in –law, would respond, “No, it can’t be for either something is unique or it is not!” I’ll not argue the point but my time both in Raleigh NC. Colleyville, TX, and Eureka CA, may fit well in that category of being unique.

A few times Elisabeth and I drove into Boston for a concert. Once I think north to Portsmouth, NH but never had I flown to another State just to attend a specific concert and that is until I arrived in Raleigh for a one night event. Some of you that we have met or have visited us will have heard of our friends, Terry and Juana Mikels and their daughter Mary Mikel, who is blind, having been born without eyes. Along with that, she was given the gift of a lovely voice and perfect pitch so that when once singing, to Kea’s accompaniment on the piano, she apologized for not being on key. To which Kea responded, ‘no, you’re on key’ and continued to play. Then after a bit Mary stopped and said, “Oh, I know what it is, I’m used to singing this in F and you are playing it in ‘G’ What an ear!

Now on 3 June she was to sing in the semi-finals for those who are blind or visually impaired. Her choice was to do, ‘Memories, from Cats.’ She did and when the Judges rendered the result, it was that Mary won. It made my trip. You may hear it on ‘Blind Idol Semifinal’, via You Tube. Now at the finals on 12th August in Winston Salem she offered “O Mio Babbino Caro” and “This is the Moment.” I had hoped to be there but unable to do so. Alas, Mary did not win but was honoured to be one of five finalists out of a field of 75!

A couple of days after that event, I was on a flight from NC to Dallas TX where our friends Michael and Stacey Smith’s daughter Danielle was to be married in a ceremony held at Southern Methodist U. Dallas with a filled Chapel of well wishers. The afternoon and evening affair presented a bit of a problem for I forgo sitting in the driver’s seat after sundown hence my need for a chauffeur. It happened that the Jack’s in Fort Worth had invited me to spend my time with them so I suggested I might escort Milli to the wedding and in turn she would be the driver. With that, off we went to the Chapel, for a very well thought out service fit for the sanctity of the celebration. Radiant bride with lovely attendants followed by three, I think, flower girls and lastly a wee boy as ring bearer, who stopped at the appointed place and was then handed a lollypop by a sweet girl as ‘reward’, I guess, for a lone walk well done.

At the dismissal it was to the Smith’s home for a garden reception. Michael must have worked some long hours to clear out the garage in order to set up long service tables. Out on the lawn were tables set right up to the edge of the wooden dance floor that Michael had trucked in and laid on the lawn. It was all set for the initial Father/bride dance and I thought that if it was a foxtrot or waltz I might have the nerve, when that formality was over, to invite Milli up for a number.

It was on a cruise with Elisabeth that I last ventured onto the floor and that was a good 25 years ago. Prior to that the when the ‘Cha Cha’ was popular in the fifties I had taken lessons but that 1-2, 1-2-3 rhythm had long left me. Elisabeth laughed when I suggested it yet we had a couple of turns and managed a quasi waltz. Although not nearly as Yul Brynner executes it with Anna in the film, “The King and I.”

As it turned out we had been through the buffet line and were enjoying the meal when the switch came from slow music with easy movements, to that of the night, with high decibels level to the point of our wishing for ear plugs ending my thoughts of a slow number. One can say that the floor started rocking with, as the old song put it, there’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on. To put a name to this dance which brought a filled dance floor is beyond me. I would describe it as a dance where one is a bit hunched forward—arms loosely at the sides—body and arms going up and down in what I coined as a ‘monkey jump.’ After some long minutes and in high speed the band leader called for all couples married less than five years, ‘off the floor’—then followed, 10 years, off the floor, 15, 20 etc with I believe a notched up volume and speed and so it went until there was but one pair on the floor at which point the ‘noise’ leveled off and the leader asked how many years married? 65 years came the reply, if my memory is with me. At that point all cheered and offered applause to the couple including us for they had shown fortitude or Tru Grit!!. Then with our hearing returning I said, “Milli, I believe this would be a good time to give our thanks and good wishes to our host and newlyweds.” Now, I wonder if their bones ached in the morning.

There were a few more days with Dallas friends and then a return to the Cove until 29th of June when I boarded a flight for Eureka CA to attend the wedding of Hannah Gent. That can wait for another time. Oh, yes I am set for a few dancing lessons having been requested to be an escort for a friend who would like to trip the light fantastic and needed a partner—up until now she can tap and square dance—the waltz may be the first lesson and I need a brush up on that, for sure. If I continue who knows where it will end perhaps in a film a la Fred Astaire and you might have to ante up a token to see me on the silver screen.

God bless y’all. That’s it from the Cove.

Lars

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