Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Saturday, February 27, 2016


We have a great group of neighbors. Ron and Susan next door live next to Joe and Leslie. Joe held Michael while he was having convulsions in our driveway almost two years ago. Leslie and I play in the local orchestra but for a couple of years, Joe has been begging me to play my string bass with her Irish fiddling group. It would mean another evening of rehearsals and then performances, especially on the weekends. I am just not in the best of health for an additional commitment, which he does not seem to understand as I look good and he sees me working in the gardens.

This evening, Leslie is throwing Joe a surprise 50th birthday party. Being from Ireland, he loves beer, though not Guinness! He is a pilsner man. Michael is going to take time to find a unique beer as a present and I am going to play with the group as my present to him.

He is going to flip.

Now the hard part, I will be playing in front of a small audience (so much harder than a larger audience) with no rehearsal and no music. The challenge will be to make sure the guitarist is seated at an angle where I can read the guitar chords as he plays them. Scary.

In high school, I played with a banjo player and a guitarist in a bluegrass group. Foggy Mountain Breakdown! It was the most boring music to play on the bass. The music I will be playing tonight reminds me so much of those days. It is not difficult. It is just the matter of hitting the tonic notes (the lowest note of a chord) and to end well. Everyone likes the solo last low note, which rings after everyone else silences their instruments. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

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