First of all, is it just me or does this whole wordpress behemoth seem a lot slower in saving and posting the things I write? Maybe it’s my unsupported browser. It’s my browser and I’ll unsupport it if I want to, cry if I want to – Points if you can dig into your wayback machine and drag up where that musical line of memory comes from.
Our title here today should be really be old people, older men specifically and how aging gets a bad rap.
First guy we meet, me and my canine companion is a guy who admits to be in his 80’s. His wife too. We stop and chat, me and Fido and the guy tells me he had Irish setters for 50 years but they’re all gone now. The only dogs in his life are his grand dogs and that’s fine with him. No more poop patrol I guess.
But he say 80’s like he’s apologizing for being in his 80’s with a wistful sigh of resignation like he is embarrassed for having lived so long. He likes my dog and she takes an instant liking to him and we say our goodbyes and off we go.
The second guy thinks by dog is a Portuguese water dog, a breed I never knew existed until my favorite president got one, no two. Actually, its a favorite president tie between him and Jimmy Carter.
Now this guy tell me he’s 78, again with an I’m sorry for having lived so long kind of sound in his voice and expression on his face. I am stunned by these two guys and their apologies for being older.
This guy went to Berklee as in top notch music school majoring in trumpet, joined the US Navy, sailed around the Mediterranean alot, played for Admirals and probably heads of state. You know Kings, Queens and such.
Then he gets a gig playing in Fred Waring’s band ( Look it up) meets his wife and here he is some 50 years later rubbing my dog’s belly which she has generously presented to him. He can’t play anymore due to health issues and I tell him I’m sorry to hear that. He sort of looks off into the distance with a look that is saying _” Yeah, I know” or I have given up thinking about it” which as a musician myself is a killer stake right through your heart and your music which are connected at the hip.
We talk about the old big bands, He saw Benny Goodman and all the greats. We talk about Freddie Green and he mentions a drummer I have never heard of. We talk about the loss of Stephen Sondheim which we both agree is a tragedy.
Finally, we run out of things to talk about and I can see that by me talking about music and how wonderful it is I’m making him sad. We shake hands as we are both triple vaccinated and we’re outside anyway so I say goodbye and he says goodbye and he says goodbye to the not Portuguese Water dog and off we go.
The people you meet. I hope I never apologize for getting older but sometime I feel that sense of shame when I have to mention my age too. I get it. It doesn’t seem fair though.
The people you meet.