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Archive for March 7th, 2007

Nothing Like Friends

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Tuesday was good. Very good. It was all about relationship, about people caring about one another, being interested in one another. Taking care of each other and ourselves, together. I am proud I live in a community of this caliber.

Kids Knitting

I started the day with my knitting class at the middle school. There were only two girls this week so we had a bonding experience, three of us at one small table, all knitting. It was quite lovely.

The girls had asked me last week if I would bring one of my music CDs for them to hear and this week I did that. We listened to “My Blackbirds are Bluebirds Now,” “When the Little Red Roses Get the Blues for You,” and one or two others. It is “up” music and though they normally would not listen to this type of music they liked it enough to ask for a few more songs after the first. I was pleased.

Robert’s Memorial

I ran from there to Lansing Community College where the Robert P. Busby memorial service was held. I missed the service but got there before the reception ended, and collected many hugs. I am delighted to see how many people from so many parts of my life all came together because of the love of this fine man.

I was right, Dart Auditorium did not even start to hold all those who came. First they filled the auditorium, then an overflow classroom in Dart’s building, then the entire cafeteria in the Arts and Sciences building (a huge space) and several classrooms in the A&S building. I guess they broadcast the event into all the classrooms at LCC.

Anyone Get a Tape?

I hear that Wednesday they will broadcast the event on cable access TV. I do not have cable, I don’t even have a color TV or a VCR but I can watch a video at Foster Center when the equipment is not being used by a program. I hope someone I know ends up with a copy of the program so that I can see it. There was jazz music from beginning to end, I understand, a true testament to how much Robert loved Jazz and how much his musicians loved him. I would have loved to be there.

LCC Rocks

heftonesdagwoodsaftermemoraibyjen16.jpgI tell you what, I’ve always felt great about LCC. I attended four colleges in total and LCC was by far the best deal for your money… smaller classes, actual access to your professors… and in this case a real understanding of community. Robert did study art at LCC, it was his school, too.

Then for this? They nailed it without flinching. They could not possibly know how many people would be there. They were absolutely prepared. They did the best job possible and I applaud them. For the record, it is not always easy to work there. I have friends there working with integrity but without enough staff… However, from the outside, as a patron, I am very impressed.

I walked with Regina to her car as it started to snow. The Central United Methodist church chimed at 6pm as we walked down Capitol Avenue, and it seemed fitting to hear glorious bell-chiming.

Fortunately, there was a little down time and I could go home to start a good meal. Brian cooked the fish when he got home but I had all the parts of dinner ready for his final touch before he arrived.

WDBM Tribute to Robert

We went to WDBM and joined Corrina (the DJ/host of Torch and Twang… Doug was out of town though he usually is there with her). When we got there, Jen Sygit and Drew Howard were on the air, singing and telling stories. We wished we could hear but the studio is soundproofed and for some reason they do not pipe the broadcast into the waiting room. We tuned our instruments and waited our turn.

I told the story of how I met Robert in 1987, did not get to tell any of the funny stories I might have told but I think I come on as a serious person and I *was* sad, so we went directly into the musical part.

Brian wrote a new piece, The Creole Waltz, this week. It is inspired by the Creole Gallery and Robert. We performed that first. You can hear him play it on his Youtube page, if your computer does well with Youtube videos. Later I sang “If You Want the Rainbow, You Must Have the Rain.” I nearly lost it, singing my heart out for beloved Robert, but I did hit all the notes, even if I had a quiver in my voice at the end.

Dominic Suchyta (of Steppin’ in It) and Rachael Davis came in to the studio and sang and reminisced, too. We told many more stories off the air than on… I loved Rachael telling of a child in her family who went to a concert of Rachael’s at Magdalena’s Teahouse. When Robert came in, the child made a beeline to Robert with a smile on her face. She had never met him before. She felt what we all felt, and she was in touch with her instinct to know she should go over and soak up the vibes from as close as she could get.

We hung out until nearly the end of the show, it was almost midnight. Corrina did a great job. She recorded stories from folks at the reception earlier in the day and played some great selections from those on the show… from people who really truly knew and worked with Robert for many years. She played jazz and world music from the Folk Festival which he loved, and a lot of tunes by folks who had played at the Creole over the years.

dagwoodsdrewanddaniel.jpgDagwoods: More Friends, More Music

Afterward, Drew and Brian and I went over to Dagwood’s (a local pub since the 1940’s, still a neighorhood place on the East Side but also favored by young creative folks and older creatives alike). Jen Sygit does an open mic there every Tuesday. Brian and I sang a few. Corrina came in after her shift at the radio station was complete. Drew and Daniel played a bit (I’m pretty sure it was Klezmer music).

We left Dagwoods when the place was nearly empty. I did not want the day to end. It’s funny, I don’t drink at all and have never felt comfortable in a bar. At Dagwoods I feel totally at home and have no inclination to leave at all. This place does things right. It doesn’t hurt to know 20% of the crowd, and be friends with Pete the bartender and Jen the host of the open mic. It’s all good.

Cold Outside, Warm Inside My Heart

It was still snowing when we went home, the cold, crunchy stuff that makes for good-skiing “powder.” To me, a non-skiier, it just means cold.

But my heart was warm. I spent a day with good people, and we did what we could to help each other through a rough spot. We did what we do best, we mostly played music (and I knit, and knit, and knit… which is like worry beads to me). I went away feeling loved and comforted. This is just right, as Goldilocks would say.

I slept like a baby. And today, Wednesday, the sun shines. It is a good omen.

Photos: Brian and I at Dagwood’s Open Mic night (photo by Jen Sygit), Drew and Daniel on stage after us.