Our Town – June 2023

The Soupster “Discovers” a New World.

The Soupster “Discovers” a New World.

The Soupster approached the garage sale on foot.

He totally did not need more accoutrements, but there was something to be said for Saturday morning entertainment and Our Town’s promotion of the second “R” in RRR.

The homemade cardboard signs had said, “starting at 7am sharp.” And the sprawling yard of the grammar school teacher’s parents was a perfect site.

The Soupster had dressed in careful layers. He prepared for rain, sun, wind, or anything in between. There was some furniture that looked sturdy and like it had a lot of life in it still. But, he absolutely did not have room for any more big items.

Then, he spotted four matching wine glasses – that was more like it! He’d had some long-stemmed glasses over the years but they had broken, and he was now down to just two – a giant one and a tiny one.

Next, he wandered over to a shelf of children’s books. Intriguing, but… no young children to share them with now. There were also a few CDs on the shelf – mostly 80s folk-rock-pop and something called “How to Start a Stamp Collection.”

Suddenly, between two dusty jewel cases, he saw a wedge of something gold-colored and pulled it out – “Paul Rosenthal Plays Bravura Variations on Alaska’s Flag Song (with Doris Stevenson on piano).”

The Soupster smiled. “This is amazing! I remember Doris. She played with Rosenthal a lot.”

“Oh, yeah, they were two of the original founders, weren’t they?” said a high, sweetly cracking voice above his right shoulder. The Soupster looked up to see a tall, slim, purple-haired figure, with a down of reddish fuzz on their chin.

“Those patriarchs and matriarchs were great,” said the purple and red individual. “And you can’t beat Zuill – I love when he just pops up around town. But now they also have a bunch of young musicians from The New World Symphony, right?”

The Soupster stared at the multi-colored creature, whose words seemed like another language.

“Oh, hi. I should introduce myself. My name is Leslie Leslie. Well, that’s my stage name. I’m a Vista volunteer.” The voice careened from soprano to bass and back again.

“Howdy,” said the mesmerized Soupster. “What were you saying about The New World Symphony?”

“Oh, it’s a music academy down South, and they send up student players every summer. It’s good to have new blood, you know. It keeps the arts fresh and lively.”

“Makes me think of that famous piece by Dvořák,” muttered the Soupster. “He really believed in ‘the new world’ – folk, Native American and African American themes – he was riveted by them and liked to capture their spirit in his music.”

“Well, then,” said Leslie, “he sounds a lot like these new musicians. They also want to bring a freshness to old favorites. It keeps the world moving forward.”

“You know, you’re right, Leslie… Leslie?”

The Soupster gathered and paid for his wine glasses and CD.

Then went home, and immediately added five songs by the new “New World Symphony” to his playlist.


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