Summertime in Middle America is a collision of tradition and revision.
Because right in the midst of the Internet generation are the simple pleasures of small towns, gathering a handful of local musicians to hold 25 rehearsals to play 12 songs in a bandstand in the center of the town square, to the delight of the old folks, and an opportunity for the younger generation to meet together on summer vacation outside the confines of the local school.
It is a sight to behold.
The musicians are a little nervous, uncertain of themselves, yet self-possessed with the importance of the moment.
The director has dressed for the occasion and struts around like he’s Leonard Bernstein at the premiere of West Side Story.
And the old folks sit in rickety wooden chairs, turning to one another and conversing about as many inane topics as possible before being silenced by the orchestra tuning up (and never quite achieving pitch.)
The little kids run and play, and the teenagers yearn for dusk, when they can slip away from their parents and investigate the pleasure of one another’s bodies in the alcove of the staircase next to the local library.
It is America.
It is the blending of the old with the new, in some sort of temporary agreement over a poorly performed Sousa march.
It is something we must never lose, although we should never regale it as being more important than mercy and justice.
The bandstand sits quietly the rest of the year, part of the time covered in leaves and on other occasions nearly hidden by snow.
But when it is ready, and when it is time, it encircles the warmth of feelings which can only be expressed by those who awkwardly care for one another.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix
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