A CD signing in the full moon of November – the Frost Moon, as well as an odd version of the blue moon, being the fourth in one season rather than the second in one month. It wasn’t the moon that brought troth the nostalgia, though. It was the incredible gathering of old friends, some from far away, who came to buy CDs, to sample the wonderful gnosh served up by Leslie Collins and the crew at Heroes Coffee, and to listen to us play.
Looking out over the crowd was like taking a tour of all 34 years I’ve been back in the Ozarks. Marsha Boone and Marie Steinwachs drove down from Jefferson City. Connie Grand broke her long post retirement hermitage to be there. Ina Chrisman and her daughter Miichelle, whom I hadn’t seen since she was just a wee child, came from Springfield, along with long-time pal and sparring partner Denise Bredfeldt. And, of course, the regular gang plus several more from neighboring tribes. So Sweet. So dear.
And the band played wonderfully. We were missing two of our group – Bo Brown was tied up at a weekend workshop. He was the teacher and couldn’t slip away. And Billy Ward was also otherwise occupied. But we managed to put on a fair show anyhow with Linda Stoffel, Dennis Crider, Van Colbert, Rick Redding and Tedi May holding forth on a couple of lively sets. And the audience loved it all. What a fine, fine party.
You shoulda been there.
I was so moved by the response and by the surprise appearances of so many old friends, it put me in mind of that song, Bookends, by Paul Simon, and the verse that goes:
Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you
I must say, dear friends, that if I must grow old carrying memories like this along the way, it will be a pleasant journey all the way home. May the blessings of the Most High rain down on you for your loving kindness. My heart is too full for words.