Annie and I had a nice evening. The Sweet Haven High School madrigal choir (Bono Voce) has a fund raising event each February - a Valentine's Day concert with a catered dinner. It is held in the Rabbit's Den - the high school cafeteria, and it is pretty sweet.
We don't hear too much music that is made by our friends, neighbors, and family. We hear mostly professional singers whose voices have been washed and scrubbed through a million dollars worth of electronic gear. Blended, echoed, and polished it really does sound nice. In a way, a lot of this music was like music our great-grandparents might have listened to - music that was made by 'just people' that they knew personally, and before recording sound was common. From re-reading this last little bit I suppose you might think this is a criticism, but what I'm trying to say is that what you saw (or heard) is what you got. I liked it, and thought the kids pretty brave for singing in public.
While we got our salad and ate our meal, the choir kids (individually or in small groups) went up on stage and sang a variety of songs that had a variety of polish. But all of them exhibited more courage than I could ever pull together. I think I would rather take a beating than get up in front of a bunch of strangers - even friendly ones - and perform. So I appreciated their performances.
SH High School was built in the late 60's I think The cafeteria is brick walled and the ceiling is acoustic tile. Lighting is fluorescent. The floor is linoleum. There is a 7 foot tall mural of a rabbit that probably had a long history with anabolic steroids on the West wall. There are vertical window along the South wall, each in a little alcove and with a small table in it for a little privacy. It's not fancy by today's standards and to make it fancy would cost quite a bit, but it seems to work fairly well, and it that room could talk, I'm sure there are thousands of tales it could tell of a couple of generations of teens from the SH area. Even though I graduated from a high school hundreds of miles away, I'm a little nostalgic about it as all of our kids graduated from it. I don't think that our kids are very nostalgic, but in years to come they might be to some degree. Nostalgia, I think, is a measure of what you feel you have lost, and we often lose our innocence and sense of safety as life drags us along. I suppose that part of the reason that I came away so content was that the whole night took me back to when our kids were not the polished and sophisticated adults that they have become, but to when they were somewhat unsure of themselves and their futures. Their self confidence would come and go like a breeze in the summer, and seeing these kids tonight brought a lot of those memories back.
Since it was a fund raising dinner, the kids served the meals, brought the deserts and then entertained us. They were alternately polite and poised when they were serving tables, and then when they were off with their friends you could see a variegation of teen behavior from timid to teasing, from confidence to boredom. Just kids being kids.
The teen years are fairly hard on parents too, but even though I don't think I got more than an hours worth of sleep each night for 15 years or so (only a slight exaggeration) I have fond memories of working on cars for the the girls, and they would come out and tell me about the boys that they liked. It was a pretty good system as they usually had a LOT to say about the boy, and I would be under the car and wouldn't hear but about 10% of the story. It was just sweet to have them come out and talk to me. It was great to go out to DMAD with the boys (and J) and plink or fish, mostly just fool around often ending with a marshmellow or hot dog roast.
That's about it. We had a nice evening, and I don't know about Annie, but I had a nice walk down Memory Lane. I hope you all have a great Friday.