So I am tooling down the interstate not too long ago trying to make it home with a load of my kid's crap in time to get to my favorite live jazz gig when off in the distance I detect flashing lights that aren't normally in that location. Thinking its a minor snarl I bravely trudge onward. Mistake! Damnit! Traffic is hopelessly tangled. Being an optimist I hope for the best. But half an hour later I have made maybe 100 yards of progress. People are starting to get out of their cars and walk around. That's when you know its time to take fate into your own hands. I drive a few thousand feet in the median, hit the all wheel drive button and execute a maneuver that I am thinking probably does not comport with the law as currently written. But at least I am now heading full speed in the opposite direction. I take the first exit and try to triangulate my way back to the interstate on the other side of the tie up.
I travel a few miles and come to a little town square and all the townies are chillin in their lawn chairs all over the place. My first thought is what tha...? But I can see there is a little band playing on the gazebo thingy. Then I'm thinking hmmm. So I roll down my window to give a listen and they are playing an instrumental version of the O'Jays' I Love Music. But wait, "this don't sound like no local band". I have listened to a lot of local bands in my time and invariably they do not have the synthesizers to reliably reproduce the horn lines and string orchestration. This one did, and they were poppin' too. As luck would have it (with an assist from a bit of malingering on my vehicle's part) I got caught by the stop light. For 30 glorious seconds I got a front row seat to the proceedings. When the light turns green I turn the corner begin to make my way home. But then I spot 5 sharply dressed men making their way through the back stage area (OK so they were crawling between the parked cars and the merch guy but you get the idea). They were all wearing the same little tams and I'm thinking who wears tams nowadays? Oh snap, its The Tams.
As the music is fading in the distance I start thinking parking doesn't look like that much of a problem. And it wasn't. So I standing there amongst the townies listening to The Tams. I can see why they picked this band. They put on a great show, at least for the 10 minutes or so that I witnessed. But one of them ain't dancin'. Turns out he's 72 year old original Tam Charles Pope or "daddy" as the lead singer called him. On the road for over 50 years he says.
My curse back on the interstate had turned into my blessing on the town square. Sometimes you just need to ride the wave and go wherever it takes you. Enjoy the serendipitous things that life brings you as long as you can. But I've got a jazz gig to get to.
And miles to go before I sleep...
The death of democracy?
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