Growing Old…Or Maybe Not

I played and sang a couple of songs last night; it’s fun to do that for an audience. Bosque Farms has a building that works well for this.
Bunch of people dancing, old people like me providing music, one autoharp, one pedal steel guitar, three bass players, a mandolin picker, the rest played guitar and fiddle.
There’s a single drawback: there were 24 musicians, most pretty good, playing instruments. And six people who just wanted to sing, and most of them were pretty good; think live karaoke.
The woods here, and probably a lot of other places, are full of musicians. Some of them are former traveling professionals who have retired but still like to play. And some are like me, not even wannabe’s but people who just enjoy music and playing for an audience that appreciates your efforts.
Old people, back when I was young, had few social venues to interact with others. Widows in particular simply had little other than church as a venue for socializing. There was a lot of rocking-chair-sitting, and a visit from friends or family was a big deal. Reading, if your eyes were still up to that, was entertainment. Quilting and sewing and such too.
Not now. Now, they’re out there, playing, sometimes singing, sometimes dancing, and sometimes just sitting and listening for some of them.
And maybe this has something to do with why there seem to be more people who live longer and who enjoy life right up to the end.
One of the guys in the band, a fiddler, was wearing a cap that said “World War II Veteran”. Another couple who were out dancing and socializing have celebrated their 70th Anniversary this year.
Live life and enjoy it; does it really get better than that?
A $3.00 entry fee that goes to hall rental and buying the amps and mic’s that we used. Cheap entertainment. And with that many musicians, no one cares if you get up and walk around and talk to people. Have a coffee and maybe a piece of cake or a doughnut. Be sociable.
They did. Some of the musicians took a break and danced too, but my dancing days are over. Bum legs. Sigh.
But by golly, I can still play and sing! I did, and it was more fun than a non-musician would believe. I’ll do it again in a couple of weeks, next time the Old-Time Fiddlers and Musicians of New Mexico get together.
And five of the musicians from last night, counting me, will be playing for a senior citizens center in Belen next Monday afternoon. Some of the same audience will be there listening to us too, and perhaps even dancing.


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9 Responses to “Growing Old…Or Maybe Not”

  1. James Cooper Says:

    A couple days ago, while visiting in California, we were talking with our friend’s mother for awhile. She wanted to hear me play guitar, so I played some classical pieces for about 1/2 an hour, which she appreciated. She had her wits about her. Later her daughter mentioned that they celebrated her 100th birthday a few months ago. She just didn’t seem that old.

    • jlknapp505 Says:

      Age doesn’t dim a liking for music. Glad you got to play for her. We’ll miss you tonight. BTW, do you guys get paid when you play gigs in Jemez Springs? I know Dave and his group get paid when they perform in Socorro, but I was curious about the bands that have been spawned by the group I played for last night. And I wondered about you and your group. Jack

      > Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 14:36:42 +0000 > To: >

      • James Cooper Says:

        We’ve been getting some tips, occasionally almost enough to be worth the effort. Last time the restaurant owner chipped in a noticeable amount, which felt good. But so far, no contracts in advance.

      • jlknapp505 Says:

        OK; I wondered. The only thing I’ve ever gotten was that half-off coupon that we got from the church we played at! 🙂 But I’ve improved considerably, and learning the words to the songs has been an enormous help. I’ve also changed my style of play; I use arpeggios a lot as part of the accompaniment. Not quite playing ‘lead’ ,but better than just strumming. I’ve got around 40 or 50 songs I can play, mostly from memory; I’ve added a couple of new ones, For The Good Times and The Rose. Beautiful song, and while I’m no Bette Midler, it works for me in C. I’m doing My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (Willie Nelson) and Pass Me By (Johnny Rodriguez), and Welcome To My World (Jim Reeves). I’ve added a couple of funny songs too and a couple like This Old Hat that aren’t love songs or ballads or funny, exactly. See you when you get back. One day I’ll make it up to Jemez Springs. One day… Jack

        > Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 18:07:28 +0000 > To: >

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