This old band

Because of the Labor Day holiday, my regular Inside Out is a little early. . . enjoy!

“When are you going to write a good story about the band?”
It wasn’t so much a question as an order, a direction from a neighbor who has seen me Wednesday night after Wednesday night in front of the firehouse in Callicoon Center.
I’m not known for taking directions well.
But, what the heck.
He got me thinking. Why haven’t I written a good story about the band?
To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to explain the mystique of the little bandshell, the summer night, the kids swirling in circles on the blacktop.
I have gone through stages with the band – loving it as a child, hating it (or at least the troubles it can bring) as a Callicoon Center homeowner, and now back to adoration.
Because, as a parent, I get it.
The Callicoon Center band is a time warp, it’s true.
Not because they play 80-year-old German marches and old-fashioned polkas.
Not because my mother brought me to the band when I was a little girl and slipped me a few dollar bills to throw in the cigar box still passed around in lieu of a hat.
It’s a walk into a time when you could take your kids out for an evening of entertainment that didn’t break the bank, that didn’t sell their soul to Disney, that didn’t hype them up on sugar.
Oh, yeah, there’s sugar. The pie raffle is after all, part of the appeal. One friend comes with her son only to leave at intermission after the raffle tickets are pulled. She’ll be back next year – she’s yet to win a pie.
Somehow, the sugar of a homemade pie, the sugar of a piece of cake slipped to a little girl with a sweet face who stands on her tippy toes to stare longingly at the forbidden, doesn’t count.
What counts are the shrieks of unadulterated glee from the kids who bound around the driveway of the firehouse, spinning in frantic circles and lifting their knees high as they march to the music.
They want to hear a group of musicians pouring their hearts and souls into music not for money but because they like to play.
They want to enjoy the music their way – loudly, enthusiastically, simply.
On Wednesday nights in Callicoon Center, thanks to a group of music teachers, music enthusiasts and a few talented kids too, they can.
And after the last Wednesday night of the summer, when the bandshell has been closed down until next year, a mom with a happy little girl can settle down in her office to write a good story about a pretty darn good band.

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  1. I’ve never attended the band concerts..butit sounds like fun, and I think I’ll make a point of going next year. Kris S

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