Monday, May 2, 2011

Concert Talk

I didn't run into anyone during my run in a sprinkle yesterday afternoon.  Au contraire later, at the intermission and reception for the Marlborough Quartet's concert at Wilson Hall.  You know those columns in local newspapers that mention people for the sake of mentioning people, such as:  "Natural Bridge.  Mr. and Mrs. George Leicester enjoyed a three-day visit by their son and his wife, Jack and Jody Leicester of Wilmington, North Carolina.  Ruby Redd received first prize for the first mature Wando pea of the season at the NB Garden Club meeting on Tuesday."  Well, here's the latest concert report.

T, who's been on sabbatical, recently returned from four months in New York City working on Liszt, practicing on two grand pianos in his mother-in-law's home.  She used to have three.  He'll be performing guess who -- Liszt -- in September.  Liszt is hard, with big bulky chords swiftly changing.

Bob -- the physician who warns his 50-year old male patients that their libidos are about to wane; his clients blame him and their wives thank him -- says he works seven days a week but is a big fan of chamber music.  He played baritone horn (and was it trombone?), in high school.  When he arrived at VMI, the talent he thought he had abandoned was coaxed into commission.  That was the end of that, except I urged him it wasn't/isn't and told him about my other Bob friend who picked up his saxophone after 50 years and hasn't let go of it since.

"What's Karen up to?" asked an octogenarian.   "Milking."  "You have cows?"  "No, goats."  "What do you do with the milk?"  "Drink it, make yogurt, cheese, etc."  Then the inevitable, "I don't like the smell or taste of goat milk."  "Taste ours and if you're like everyone else who tastes it for the first time, you'll say, 'it tastes like milk.'"  "No," said she, "I've had it; I don't like the taste." Back and forth, persistent, until she wore down, "I guess my son must have done something wrong."

"We missed you this spring," says E, referring to Garth Newel's adult chamber music weekend.  "Yeah, the application deadline came too fast."  "Are you going to Lexington Play Week?"  "No, I have trouble being cooped up a whole week in the summer."  "I understand," she says, "that's why I feel claustrophobic in the summer."

C says, "You're always wearing that big smile."  It's the monkey on my shoulder.  "How's your flute?"  "It's there; that's about it."  "Are you playing it?"  "Well, our flute group gets together now and then, sounds terrible and goes home.  Can't get around to practicing."

On to Jim, who like us used to live in North Carolina.  "How's your garden?"  One year he got behind and needed help thinning his parsnips.  His daughters didn't want to help, but they did.  Soon they developed a rash and he took them to a dermatologist.  The doctor couldn't figure it out and consulted with another, who went through a list of plants that cause similar rashes.  Parsnips.  "That's it, they were pulling parsnips."  So be careful.  When you harvest parsnips, wear long sleeves, long gloves, or be careful, just in case.  "My peas have blossomed," I said.  He shook his head, "Mine are pitiful, about this tall."  He opened his thumb and forefinger to one inch.  "Must be missing nitrogen," he said.  I said, "In North Carolina, I always planted my peas February 2.  This year I heard February 22 is the magic date around here, like March 17 for potatoes."  "I planted them in March," he said, "when we lived in North Carolina we planted by the signs; summer garden on Good Friday."

D wo-manned the drink table.  She seems to have settled into her husband's retirement from piloting tugboats in Alaska.  For years he'd been gone two months, home two months, gone two months; now he's home all the time.  D was accompanied by F, plant purveyor and D's former part-time summer boss.  "How's the greenhouse?"  "Great, almost full of tomatoes and other seedlings.  Do you use sterile media?  It seems to me that wouldn't be good for the good stuff in the soil."  F laughs, "No, except for seed starting."  "There's no reason except to cut down on weeds, so you know that what's coming up is what you planted?"  "That's right."

"That's it for this week's concert report?" says Virginia.

That's it.

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