October 14th, 2005


Birthday Concert

My sister invited me up to Rochester to celebrate my big 60 with her. She thought her husband was going to Chicago, but that trip fell through. She used a Joan Baez concert to entice me. Nice way to spend one's birthday...

I did NOT take a dress. My sister affected nonchalance, but as we hit "Savers" a discount store where people bring in the stock, she went into "shop 'til you drop" mode. Rochester is a "rich" town in a "rich" area. I got a "new" winter coat for $30, a spring/fall jacket for a bit less, and a chore coat, super warm but a bit ratty, for under $10. Then she found a lower calf length jumper for $9. and a blouse that looked good under it for $3, and some calf-length nylons for .99...

As we got out to head toward the civic center, I saw LOTS of well-dressed ladies on top, wearing JEANS on the bottom. Joan came out -- nice jacket, fancy blouse, pearls, and JEANS. Well, she's a FOLK SINGER, not an opera star!

So, we sang old protest songs. She said, "I didn't think I'd ever sing these again." She told about being at Crawford, TX, going for a day, but ending up staying for a week, and how the military/police/secret service completely surrounded the encampment. She woke up at dawn and went off alone to meditate and watch the sun rise. She saw She saw national guard, police, secret service or some such, tommy guns or whatever it is they carry in their arms, standing every little bit of the way around the entire area at arm's length apart, and walked over to two of them to talk. She asked how their duty looked to them from their side.

"We go where HE goes." The lady's eyes were serious, her lips unsmiling. This was DUTY with a capital D.

Says Joan, "He, who?"

Well, duh, the president was HE... Priceless.

At the end, she kept getting called back, and finally sang "Diamonds and Rust" as her last encore. I've been singing it for a week, now. At least I'm obsessing on something I LIKE. Generally, the tune you can't get out of your head is something totally obnoxious.