Awareness can be best achieved and honed through working outside.
— Lionel Aggett
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
I had some unplanned excitement yesterday.
I decided to visit the American Banjo Museum in downtown OKC, as a research trip (I'll soon be reviewing a chapbook of poetry centering on the banjo and it's history). It's a charming two floor affair in the Bricktown area — immediately east of Lincoln Blvd and the railroad tracks — and covers the history of the instrument from Africa to the present.
I returned home for lunch, then resumed my journeys with more traditional Saturday errands — the Belle Isle Library to pick up a copy of Jeff Buckley's Grace; a visit to OKC Music and Sound; a jaunt to Akin's, a local health food store; and, finally, the grocery store.
I reached into the deep pocket of my mackinaw to pull the shopping list out of my checkbook. My pocket was empty.
Of course, I panicked. I had the shopping list fairly well memorized, so I went on shopping and paid with my debit card.
I took the groceries home, all the time hoping I had taken the checkbook out when I had eaten lunch. No such luck.
I called the Banjo Museum, and the nice lady at the front desk looked in the vicinity of the desk. Wasn't there. The obvious answer was to retrace my steps.
I had parked about three blocks away that morning, so I parked as close to that spot as possible on my return. No checkbook.
I walked through the whole museum, even the men's room. No checkbook. There was a little movie theater where movie clips which used banjo prominently on the sound track were displayed. The front desk lady suggested it had fallen out there. I hadn't sat down in there, but I was desperate. No checkbook.
Next stop was the library, which was 38 blocks south and about a half mile west. As I was driving, the penny dropped. The front desk lady's suggestion had a whole new application.
My checkbook had fallen out of that deep pocket of my red mackinaw into the rear passenger floorboard behind the driver's seat.
I recently read a biography of Leonard Cohen (I'm Your Man, Sylvie Simmons) which mentioned — off-handedly — that he plays uke. So it seemed a charming match.
I'm currently reading The Holy or the Broken by Alan Light, which is an exhaustive study of the growing popularity of this song. Aside from a discussion of record sales — a necessary evil — he talks about how each singer's interpretation brings something new to the song.
My interpretation, as is often the case, is a syncretic blend of other interpretations that have spoken to me. My aim is mix moments of innocence (an element of the Buckley interpretation, according to Light) with moments experience (Cohen's original and John Cage's cover).