Once Auntie Bridgett and I finished our long walk home from Eb and Bean, she checked her fitness watch. We had walked four and a half miles! We had big glasses of water and were reading on the balcony when we got a text from Grandpa Nelson, who had gone out for a short walk around the park.
“Music at the park!” He said. We were up in a minute, packing salami and cheese, water and peanuts and grabbing the folding chairs. As we walked, we got another text. “Finishing up. May have missed it.”
Well, heck. But we decided that we might as well go and enjoy some snacks in the park, anyway. Another text. “New band setting up!”
Hooray! We found Grandpa Nelson, set up the chairs, and watched people, dogs and kids hang around as the next band set up. Fellows with saxophone cases wandered in, then trombones and trumpets. A keyboard was set up. Then a lady in a wonderfully flowy, showy flowered dress walked toward the stage.
A Jazz band! Indeed, the Jumptown Jazz Band, with their vocalist, Claudia Knauer. What a treat!
They started with “I’ve Got a Lot of Living to Do” from Bye Bye Birdie, and continued for an hour and a half through Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Johnny Hodges, and Peggy Lee’s “I Love Being Here with You.” (“East is east and west is west, north and south, they’re both the best. But I’ll only visit them as a guest, ’cause I love being here with you.”)
The band was crisp and harmonious, and Claudia belted out the tunes with love and gusto.
We enjoyed the music and the impromptu dancing of kids, men and ladies in the audience. Dogs came and went, fetching sticks. Kids collected sticks that the dogs left behind. It was top notch Laurelhurst magic. But the music had to end sometime. And when it did, it was time to leave.
Before we headed home, I wanted to get a good photo of the wonderful Claudia. She was chatting with some friends and I got brave and just walked up. They were taking about a National group called “Women On the Fly”, a sort of Girl Scouts for grown women. They specialize in camping, encouraging women to enjoy themselves like they did (or didn’t get a chance to) when they were younger. Their motto is “Making Girls Out of Women.”
I joined the conversation and found out that Claudia is as nice and welcoming as she is talented. She laughed and posed and we had a lovely time. I plan to look into “Women on the Fly” and maybe even go camping! Grandpa Nelson and Auntie Bridgett don’t enjoy it, but I did when I was younger, and may enjoy it again.
I got home and realized that for just a quiet Sunday, we sure were busy!