It’s easy to feel terrible about the human condition lately, with the constant hatred between political factions. But sometimes something magical happens that gives me hope, even for a brief time. This week “The Stone’s” gave an impromptu concert in the unlikeliest of venues. Okay, not those “Stone’s.” But it was still amazing.
Obsessive musicians to their core, my husband Randy and sons Patrick and Paul never take a road trip without instruments, amps, and even a P.A. system.
So of course, the first thing that came to mind when we arrived at our annual vacation rental on Bass River in Cape Cod, was playing a mini concert on the dock.
With Randy on bass, Paul keeping rhythm on tambourine, and nephew Sean strumming rhythm guitar, Patrick launched into “American Girl” by Tom Petty.
It didn’t hurt that the weather had been cold and rainy. Yet this afternoon, the clouds parted. Warm sun shone down. The river, which had been quiet the past few days, suddenly came alive.
Hundreds of boats swept close by the dock in either direction going to and from the Atlantic Ocean — sailboats, speedboats, dinghies, fishing vessels, cabin cruisers, and pontoons filled with partiers.
Like any impromptu group of Americans, I’m willing to bet many of these boaters didn’t share the same politics (I could tell by the occasional flag). But at that moment, none of it mattered. Judging by the smiles, applause, whoops, raised beers, and tooting horns, the guys on the dock were a hit.
After Tom Petty, Patrick played a rollicking “Folsom Prison Blues.” Some boats even slowed down and stayed put, to listen.
Taking all this in from a table onshore, my silver-haired mother and I sat transfixed. “What a special time,” she noted. And she was right. I must admit, I even got a little misty-eyed.
I knew I’d never forget this moment when a random group of Americans came together, politics aside, and smiled, sang, and waved. It was the best of all Fourth of July celebrations.
I couldn’t help wondering: what is it about music that touches our souls so deeply? Notes, melody, and rhythm can make us laugh, cry, and even bring out our best.
The “Stone’s” played about two hours with songs like “Crocodile Rock,” “Dancing in the Moonlight” and “I Want You Back” from The Jackson Five. For many of us, these songs brought back happy memories of youth.
Eventually dinner time came. Boat traffic thinned and the guys packed up. I was proud of my family as they carried their equipment from the dock. They had given themselves, and others, happiness on this memorable day.
By early evening, the river was mostly quiet, reclaimed by the egrets and geese. As I watched a gull swoop over the water, I couldn’t help thinking, sometimes magic happens when you least expect it.
Does music have charms to soothe the savage breast? Comments are always welcome and if you’d like, please share.
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