Saturday, October 8, 2011


OLD FOLKS have often evoked emotion in my soul. And I can't tell you exactly why. And now that I'm one of them, I still can't put it into words, but it's something about the outer shell of a person, worn and calcified, stiffened and often bent into another shape. The poignant part happens when a glimpse is caught of the younger being within. Did you ever entertain the idea that the child within is forever older than the adult?

Just as zoos make me feel sad, there's something plaintive about the caging of a free soul within an inflexible frame. Some of us manage the aging process more gracefully than others.

What prompted this rumination was something I observed at yesterday's Country Fair. After enjoying a sumptuous cook-out we found seats in the lounge and settled back for entertainment. In the years we followed the Dixieland jazz circuit, we often heard derisive complaints about banjo music, but there was no such grumbling yesterday as we listened to a banjo band from Glendora. As the first chords were played, I felt a good kind of quickening in my insides and at the same time, tears welled in my eyes as I looked around the room and saw all the tapping toes. By God, maybe we can't all get up and dance, but we can tap and we can clap and we can keep time.

The band was enjoyed so much by the residents that they played for an extra half hour, not just banjo music, but a little fiddling and some singing and a man who played the bones, a set in each hand; it set the pace for the rest of the afternoon.

We hadn't seen Jim (in the bolo tie) for three months....he'd been sequestered in his room with a severe case of shingles, but was persuaded out for the festivities. There was a feeling in the room so intense as to be almost touched; everyone seemed, felt, acted twenty years younger than their chronological age. And it continued on through the rest of the afternoon as games were played, cotton candy was eaten along with (shhh, don't tell) deep fried candy bars. The balloon artist created intricate designs, palms were read, caricatures drawn.

For the space of an afternoon, we were younger and it was wonderful.

We were urged to help ourselves to the bountiful harvest, only a third of which you see below.

The nearest lady in the video below is in her nineties.

"Will play Banjo for food,
Will stop playing Banjo for money."


  1. Hey! You can do videos, too! MORE!

    I had to miss because had a church history worker at that exact time. But at least I glimpsed via your writeup. Thanks!

  2. Another joyous--and thought-provoking--post. XO

  3. What a wonderful post. I love the way Windsor does such fun things. All the happy faces and the festive garb.

  4. What a great place!

  5. This is great ! You do keep busy Babe ! A Non Y Mouse,

  6. Susan H writes: While working at the Consumer Web in the heart of the homeless hang out area of Anchorage, prostitution, illegal activities. I wanted to have a Country Fair, Call it the Web Ho Down. Do the to activities in the neighborhood they did not like my idea......