Friday, December 16, 2011

Music on the Porch

Maybe inspired by some movie or long ago memory, I dreamed of getting people together to play music on the front porch. So, five or six years ago, my friend Pete and I started playing on my front porch. It was fun. My neighbors sat out on their porches, passers by would stop, and soon another guitar player, Dave, joined us.
Dave moved away, our lives got busy and we didn't find time to do it. I really missed it and sometimes my neighbors comment that they do too.
When Holly bought a house with a front porch twice the size of mine, my first thought was about how many players we could fit on her porch. Last summer the magic happened. Some nights there were so many people, we couldn't all fit on the porch. Everyone was singing or playing one of the funny little instruments we began to collect. Now we have a booklet with all the folk songs, spirituals and a hymn or two we like to sing.
We're an organized jam band.
I don't pretend to have great musical ability. In fact, when I wanted to learn violin in elementary school and took the music test, the music teacher said I had no musical ability. I begged to get into the program. He relented, but the next year I wasn't playing violin (screeched to much) - I played the cello. I joke that they disbanded the orchestra program because I was nearly old enough to join. In seventh grade, I had to find a new instrument. Hooked on strings, I chose the guitar. And now for many years it has been the prop I hold so I can sing.
The front porch dream has grown into a funny, funky little band. Very remarkable people! We get together once or twice a week - share a meal, music and a lot of laughter. The colder days have sent us inside and it seems to have inspired new ways of getting out.
Last Sunday, we raided Sonia and Bill's house which, of course, has a wonderful front porch. It was too cold to sing there, but a great place for photos. We took soups - homemade by Mary Beth. That was our exchange, along with music, for their kindness in giving us a great place for a photo session. Thank you Sonia and Bill!
Last night we played a second time at the Q (Queen City Cafe) in Titusville. We nearly packed the house (maybe two tables more to fill) and had a wonderful Christmas singalong. Happy that our honorary member, Barb Lake, joined us again with guitar, strum stick and dulcimer. And one of her friends played the dulcimer with us on a few tunes. We'll be playing the Q again next month and hope to fill those other two tables!
Tomorrow some of the group will be playing at the Oil City Presbyterian home.
We're doing another house sing at our friend Gail's during the holidays. AND, we are already booked for the Southside Neighborhood Association dinner NEXT November.
It's going to be a fun 2012!!! I'm wondering how many Oil City front porches we might be able to get our picture taken on..... Rock on Oil City, Yarn Bombing, Front Porch Folk photos.....

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