Saturday, July 2, 2011
Came across something today that struck me as exquisite, and it reminded me of a friend - someone no longer near, because he's crossed over into Mystery Land and now walks with his ancestors. We were friends for less than a year, but it was life-changing: both of us were in the trenches, and as the bullets flew and the bombs thundered overhead, we sat in Starbuck's and compared souls. I know he'd get this, and laugh in that half-delighted, half-wincing way of his, the way that saved my life. Peter! This is for you:
"Friends are God's way of apologizing to us for our families."
I've been rediscovering Leroy Anderson, a composer I once dismissed as kitschy, and, surprise: his compositions (The Syncopated Clock, The Typewriter, Fiddle-Faddle) are charming and very well-written. He also wrote the perennial favorite Sleigh Ride, which I didn't appreciate until I tried to play it on the violin! Whew. It's much more sophisticated than it first appears. His lesser-known stuff makes me say, "Oh, THAT!", which is a mark of something, i. e. he has worked his way into popular culture, and deservedly. I first heard most of these on Captain Kangaroo, with bizarre pre-video effects like construction-paper puppets against a felt background.