Actions in Potsdam
Monday. Met a kid in the park named Jamie. Kind of a Carlisle type, blonde short wavy hair, jagged smile, like the pretty boy broken from Fight Club. Met him while playing the banjo. Banjo. Went, got the strings fixed and tuned on Market, spent the past few hours working out a tune and building roll speed on this here Rotary Club bench in Ives Park, on the bank of the Raquette River just above Potsdam’s village hydroelectric dam. Sun’s out, and it’s cold enough to make my fingers a bit slow and stiff while writing this.
Meeting people. People. They’re the core, my interest. Best keep ’em central to life and joy. And Professionalism, if that is to come into the conversation. It must, get positive with it. Word means nothing but what you attach to it. Attach the concepts of mission, purpose, music, travel, food. How’s that?
People. Met the mom with the tatted ankle, the baby girl in the stroller. I could see her lips moving over the sound of my circular banjo sounds. I could see her lips moving, but the sound, only banjo. I ground to a stop, she said it sounded good with a big smile. Thanked her and told the banjo’s story, the “found it in my parent’s attic, it’s older than me.” People like it. It’s a good story.
Story. Stories. Telling a story right now. That’s how you get good, get professional, just like with everything else. Thus: This weekend, the first time I tried to take the banjo in. Riding into the village on my road bike, the banjo kept catching the crosswind, wanting to swing in my arm and cause a disaster. Mischief on the wind. Coming up to the corner at the library, saw a minifridge on the curb and went to ask about it. (Gotta look out for your girl, as Kat would say. Gather for your lover. And our beers are growing warm without one.) Heard noise round back, went and discovered my friends. Corey, scruffy and forthright; Lora, whose 22nd birthday it was. Her sassy classy friend, Austie. All drinking, playing washers, and busy throwing stones from their close comfy backyard through the screen of an old tv. Of course, I’m immediately attracted and accept the offered beer. Tell my story. Ask for theirs. Join Corey’s team for washers. Mimic Austie’s casting style, toes hanging off the deck, you long lank, he said.
It starts raining. We move inside, start card games. Watch them watch baseball. Sort of half-try to catch some of their interest in it. Abandon the attempt. Play with the dogs. All black lab mixes. Dog named Cascade, Cade for short. A good dog name. A good dog name needs carry when shouted.