My Favorite Graffiti

In Musical Memory

As Stephen Colbert might ask, with one eyebrow earnestly raised, “Great graffiti. . . or greatest graffiti ever?”

Marching band season began with a meeting and rehearsal last night.  This will be my 10th season as a band mom.  Jim was both the unofficial band doctor and an official band photographer.  He tremendously enjoyed both roles, and left me with an archive of thousands of photographs from marching band and concert band seasons.

Invariably, Memorial Day would be unbearably humid–worst at parade time, as the marchers gathered in clusters and practiced in a steaming parking lot.  Band members’ discomfort would be heightened–if not made intolerable–by their long-sleeved black uniforms.  Jim would walk along briskly, both his doctor’s bag and his camera bag slung over his right shoulder.

At parades, from careful past observation he knew when he had to stand guard at a particular corner.  For example, he deduced the precise spot where, rounding a sharp corner, one flutist reliably would fade to white, crumple, and need to be taken out of the lineup for hydration.   Continue reading “My Favorite Graffiti”

Spun Gold

Father’s Day 2012

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair. . . .

This Father’s Day I knew Jim would want us outside.  It was a glorious day on the seacoast, with a cooling breeze uncharacteristic for June.

I looked at the sunlit gold in the lavish locks one of my daughters had woven and pinned up  in anticipation of a much warmer outing.   And this made me think of spinning gold and fairy tales and, well, Canterbury Tales.   (There is no accounting for how my mind works.)

Before we had children, we parents of tonsorial darker hues did not contemplate a high probability of producing a golden-haired child.  In law school I took up quilting, and I launched a fairy tale quilt series.  My first design was Rapunzel (surrounded by “Castle in the Sky” blocks), whose golden hair streamed down a castle wall and off the quilt’s edge, not unlike that of our fourth-born-to-be (were we to have plunked her in a castle tower, from which I assure you she quickly would have escaped; she has always been both nimble and quick).

Somehow our youngest child emerged blonde, resplendent with long curls which turned strawberry in her toddler years and then darkened to honey and amber.    Thus my first thought was of Rapunzel when I gazed at the back of her head, atop her gracefully-held dancer’s neck.

Then Chaucer popped up again in my jumbled musings about gold and silver, about sunlit hues and their place in the universe.

Jim was so much a man of vibrant color, and (as regular readers know) a reverent student of the heavens.

(c) December 2010

Continue reading “Spun Gold”

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