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Corrupting Our Youth

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's Relative Music Week at Salem-Liberty Elementary. In this rare event, relatives of students come in to play music for the kids, and tell them what music has meant in their lives. Kind of a no-brainer for me and Bill. We told Phoebe's fourth-grade class that music was the spark that really got us together. Bill called me and asked me to paint redpolls for the cover of Bird Watcher's Digest 'way back in 1990. I demurred, because I hadn't seen redpolls for awhile and just didn't want to. He called back about 15 minutes later and talked me into it. In the course of "checking on the progress of the painting," he called a lot. And it came out in our conversations that we were both in bands. My antennae hove skyward, and so did his. I'd never dated anyone who wasn't a musician. There's something special, something extra, about musicians that I can't resist.
So we arrived at the school at exactly 1:45 pm, to find an empty music classroom and a rather puzzled Mr. Stillings. It seems I had screwed up the time we were supposed to be there. It was, or had been, 11:15. Whoops. We dithered for a couple of minutes and then decided to ask Phoebe's teacher if we might play for the class, anyway. She readily accepted our offer, and we were on.
Whut fun. I think the highlight of our half-hour was leading the kids in singing "Wishbone" by Stampfel and Weber. There was something delicious about writing the lyrics on the blackboard for the kids to sing.

Oh, a little wishbone
I make a wish
For a potato

I make a wish
For a potato

Fixin' up tortillas is so much fun
When you got a bowl of beans

So much fun
Got a bowl of beans

When we make spaghetti everybody gathers round
And we eat it by the pound

They all gather round
Eat it by the pound

See the pile of dishes over there
They fill me with despair

Dishes over there
Fill me with despair

It was, unfortunately, necessary to delete my favorite verse, which goes

We fill up our guts and we turn it into sh-t
And then we get rid of it

We turn it into sh-t
We get rid of it

What are you gonna do? You can't have 20 kids yelling the S word, however much you might want to.
Phoebe's class is cool. They get all the jokes. By the end of the half-hour they were swaying in their seats holding up pretend lighters.

The Irish traditional stuff always goes over well. Pennywhistles: Kids, rats; everybody loves 'em.

All photos in this entry are by Phoebe Linnea Thompson.

I am SOOO excited. First thing in the morning, Shila, Cindy the Forester and I are going to an orchid show in Columbus where there will be EIGHT Midwestern orchid vendors. I hope they are ready to accept my cash. And we'll get to see Dave Brigner, my dear friend at the Franklin Park Conservatory. I worked all week to earn this treat. Did my taxes and cleaned the house, even washed the floors. House is sparkling and ready for more exotica. Life is very good.


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