We played on the ferry coming over yesterday afternoon, right after the shift change, outside, on the back deck behind the SeaWest lounge where the exclusives go to avoid the crowds and the bustle.
Not to mention the hoi polloi that paid for their bon-bons.
It actually turned out to be a beautiful afternoon with high cirrus, towering mini-squalls, and wind whipping through high and hard, and then gone.
We played right through the Islands into the oranging of the early winter sunset without a whole lot of folks to listen, but three true enthusiasts stayed pretty much right through and exhorted us on after pretty much every song.
Amazing, that, how complete strangers can make you feel so good when you make them happy for no real reason at all.
Because of the wind, the stand with the Book of Tabs (and the vaunted 'Set List') was out, so we fell back on old stand-bys.
E. absolutely killed on our mash of the Decembrists' 'Down By The Water' b/w Ms. Parton's 'Jolene', even if she was forced to sing it in my key instead of hers.
Then, I held on by the skin of my thin reed, as she wailed effortlessly through 'Fogtown/Hit The Road Jack' which, it turns out, can be fused seamlessly with 'Stray Cat Strut' if you do them all in 'F'.
How's that for a trifecta!
Despite my lunatic obsession with this musical thing, you might be surprised to learn that, I do try my best (most of the time) not to push it on people.
Especially people I know that have to put up with me every day.
Like the people I work with.
So I was a bit surprised a couple of weeks ago when this shy kid who works in a lab down the hall knocked on my door and asked me if I had a minute.
Thinking she was going to ask my advice for getting Englebreth Holm Sarcoma-derived matrix to gel, or some such thing, I almost blew her off for that particular moment because I was trying to get my final exam marking done on time (for a change).
But I didn't.
And instead of going into science geek speak she asked be something very simple and direct, which was:
"Are you going to play your guitar at the Christmas party?"
I was floored.
I stammered for a bit and then tried to explain that Emily was still off at college.....
And that I didn't want to impose....
And that I hadn't rehearsed...
And that, well, you know, on my own I'm really not very good at all, and all that...
But she, this kid who had hardly ever said boo to me before, insisted.
"Why?" I finally asked.
"Because," she finally blurted, "It's a tradition!"
Did I play?
Are you kidding?
Speaking of traditions...