Last night I sat at a bar waiting for Irish musicians and dancers to come on the stage. You know how that is, you make a little nest for yourself where you have a good view, and an hour later other people come in and stand in front of you.
I nursed a glass of wine for one hour, after convincing the door manager I was too full for a four course meal. He reluctantly sat me down at the bar, noting that if people came in without ordering the meal, the dancers wouldn’t get paid. C’mon, the place was packed.
The six musicians: a drummer, an accordionist, penny whistler, singers, guitar and banjo player and, with other instruments entertained with, what I recall, as ‘back-hills’ music or ‘hillbilly’. My dad came to mind for this was his favorite.
He played the harmonica while my brother played the violin and my mother or myself, the piano. We had some pretty darn good sessions. Later I learned to tap-dance and we added that to our repertoire.
My dad came from the back hills of Illinois, and went all the way up to the eighth grade in what he lovingly called, Red Oak College. His father died in a farming accident when he was a youngster and he had to work on the farm. He joined the army at age seventeen. He was a hard working man, and I now recognize he worked hard for his family. Music was the center of our life, and last night listening to the music and watching the dancers brought up fond memories of those nights when we entertained the heck out of ourselves.