I fooled her and startled the star
I fooled her and startled the star.
We were on holiday. We reached Ottawa. Loved the place. Favourite spot: the grand, unbelievable library, inside and out, of the Parliament buildings. This is an absolute Do Not Miss!!!
I spotted a poster for one of our all-time favourite performers. I snuck away and got two tickets. I secretly arranged for our travel partners to look after the kids. They, the kids, were very young then.
I got Ann ready. She bugged me about where I was taking her. I was stolid. I kept the secret.
At the theatre, I actually covered her eyes and walked her through a very curious, amazed and amused crowd. I signalled the hush-hush procedure so no one would speak the name.
I even got her into our seats – right up front. She was aching, visibly, to know who the heck it was I’d taken her to see. Finally the house lights went down.
And the star band leader, husband of the singing star, ambled onto the stage.
“Oh,” my wife squealed. “It’s John Dankworth.”
John stopped dead. He glanced out, toward us, it seemed. Then he carried on, picked up his saxophone, and began to play. What a thrill.
Then he played the real star onto the stage: Cleo Laine. CLEO LAINE. And JOHNNY DANKWORTH.
Only the two most brilliant artists in the world.
And! What! A! Performance! They! Put! On!
Cleo can break you heart when she sings “London Pride,” or “Streets of London.”
Not to mention what they do with Shakespeare.
John Dankworth was only THE band leader of his day; and he did amazing film scores. (Well, at least one that I saw. It mesmerized me. “Putting on the Ritz.”)
Needless to say, I was in Ann’s very good books for the rest of that amazing trip. And, well beyond.
This is how we were…before Alzheimer’s.
I am eternally grateful that I was able to treat Ann with this forever memorable concert. We were transported. To some unknown heights. The memory still gives me shivers.
(Shirley Bassey can do that to you too. Remember “Goldfinger?”)
OK. Feeling a little nostalgic? And me writing on Friday that I’ve had no holiday for years and years and years. Nor a concert for several. My last concert was a treat from our son, who took me to hear Hall and Oates. They done good.
Both concerts could be considered a holiday in my books. So refreshing.
So bring on the music, it sustains life.
ENJOY YOUR DAY.
CREDIT: Permission pending