Classical

Classical: (adj) standard, classic.

I have worked for 22 years with an oboist.

She’s a little bit Mozart; I’m a little bit rock and roll.

When we teamed up, I think she was concerned that our musical tastes might be ill-suited for one another. She had played in symphony
orchestras, and I had bopped around with gospel, blues and pop.

What she did not know was that as a boy of eleven years of age, I got hooked on a record series called “The 25 Greatest Melodies of All Time” and “The 50 Most Influential Classical Music Pieces.” So along with listening to rock and roll and some gospel music, I played my recordings of Strauss, Wagner, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff.

It was perfectly produced–the records didn’t have so much of each composition to bore me, just the highlights. What you might call the Cliff notes of the masters.

I loved the music. To this day, I think my partner is a little surprised when I insert a bit of understanding (or sometimes misunderstanding) of the music of that era. Matter of fact, she and I joined together to write some symphonies–our tribute to the styling, with the addition of our original juice.

It’s too bad we have to call something “classical.” It scares off the best market–young humans. After all, why would they want to listen to any music their parents might enjoy?

But what they don’t understand is that these composers who wrote this dynamic material were just a bunch of radical, rebellious, rag-tag and reckless adolescents.

 

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Alligator

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alligator: (n) a large semiaquatic reptile similar to a crocodile but with a shorter head, native to the Americas and China.

Sometimes I think my brain is really bizarre–and then my actions confirm it.

When I saw today’s word, “alligator,” for some reason, the old rock-and-roll blues song, Polk Salad Annie, came to mind. Now most of you probably don’t even remember this 1970 tune, but it was sung in a gravelly voice by Tony Joe White, and had one great line, where he enthusiastically piped:

Polk Salad Annie, gator’s got your granny

Chomp, chomp.

Can you beat that? It doesn’t matter if I’m watching a show on Animal Planet, or merely hear the word. This song comes to my mind and I giggle–which of course, makes people stare at me. After all, an alligator crawls out of the swamp to eat flesh.

I also think of what used to be called Alligator Alley in Florida before it became an Interstate. I drove it one time in a very small car called a Fiesta Ghia. As I crept along in my little four-cylinder wonder machine, sitting in the middle of the road was about a four-foot long alligator, who had apparently taken a wrong turn at the last marsh. I tried to go around the gator, but I think he thought my car was small enough for a winnable attack.

So every time I moved, he chased me. I didn’t want to run over him, mainly because the car might have lost the battle.

By the grace of God and all things natural, this creature was suddenly distracted by some other sound or sniff from the nearby creepiness and waddled away. But I have often wondered what might have happened if he hadn’t.

Perhaps: “Gator got my fanny. Chomp, chomp.”

 

AARP, AAU, AAUP, AAVE

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

1. AARP: (abbr.) American Association of Retired Persons

2. AAU: (abbr.) Amateur Athletic Union

3. AAUP: (abbr) 1. American Association of University Presses 2. American Association of University Professors

4. AAVE (abbr.) African-American Vernacular English

If you don’t mind, I will take this series of initials to “initialize” my article for the day.

Seeing these four organizations lined up in the dictionary together really tickled my funny bone, because other than the dictionary throwing them together in alphabetical order, these four groups would not only be unaware of each other, but might be tempted to avoid contact.

It got me laughing. Wouldn’t you love to attend a party where a bunch of old people, aspiring athletes, college professors, reporters and hip-hop African-American rap stars got together to share the same pot of dip?

What a hoot!

I don’t think anybody would venture into that possibility, even for a mad-cap comedy. Too far out. But it IS the reason why fear and prejudice survive.

For instance, I was deathly afraid of a roller coaster until I sat in one. The theory and definition of a roller coaster bleached me white in apprehension. Likewise, being raised in a small town but far from rural America, I was absolutely petrified at the notion of being around barnyard animals. Pigs, cows, goats and sheep seemed like alien creatures out to suck my soul. And then, one day a friend of mine invited me out to the stables. Once I got used to the odor and learned how to carefully walk, I found the creatures to be quite domesticated, as long as you followed a few simple rules and honored their territory.

Bigotry is not the by-product of experience but rather, the lack of it.

Just think if the AARP, AAU, AAUP and AAVE got together somewhere OTHER than the dictionary. After the awkwardness wore off and the menu was reviewed for acceptability, conversation would naturally lend itself towards common goals and similar journey jaunts. It would end up being inspiring.

Segregation is not natural. Birds of a feather don’t really flock together, but actually tend to gather in promising trees near meadows filled with food sources.

It would just be so neat to see Grandma talking to some urban black man about her experience with blues music. Both of them would have to explore their resources and expand their boundaries. Meanwhile, the professor could amble up and explain the origins of both getting old AND the American ghetto. One of the athletes could be an anomaly … by being white.

Such a palette for colorful discourse.

So even though they only appear together in the dictionary, you would have to agree, our world would be better if these four actually did plan a meet, eat and eat. Yes, the world needs MEG’s–Meet, Eat and Greet.

It is only then that we will begin to birth a nation that has old, amateur athletes who are former professors that are completely well-acquainted with African-American vernacular.