Saturday’s empty schedule filled up with a set at the Bethlehem Fine Arts Side Walk Art Show and a celebration of Ray Sommerville’s life.
I’ve done the Side Walk show several times in the past, usually out on Main Street, where I put out the bag of instruments to attract kids, but still have the ability to play to the older folks who are cruising the artists’ stalls. I usually do well in tips, as well. I wasn’t asked to do it this year, partly because they insisted on roving minstrels. I don’t rove very well these days.
Silagh White did hire me to play for pay in the children’s area, this time in the nearby Sun Inn courtyard. Silagh had her girl scouts from Holy Infancy painting boxes, encouraging kids to do some arts and crafts. There was no audience to speak of today, but her daughters and some other Holy Infancy girls were chirping away when I arrived. So, when I got started, I had some active girls playing tambourines and singing along to Cat Came Back, Giants and more. It was immediately lots of fun. I ended up playing for two hours with some nice interaction with a couple of older gents who knew who I was and were wandering through the area.
I packed up and headed a couple of blocks away to Trinity Ep. Church for Ray Sommersville’s gathering. Lots of folk I knew as well as members of Rays’ family in town for the event. It was in the social hall so the atmosphere was upbeat.
Ray had asked that I play for this, so I invited Betty and Tom Druckenmiller, old timey players in our area, to help me provide the welcoming music as folks drifted in. We did a couple of songs but mostly fiddle, banjo, mandolin and guitar tunes. It was the right thing for the situation. Various folks and family members came up and gave some wonderful remembrances of Ray’s big smile and his twelve year fight with cancer. Tom, Betty and I did a fiddle tune in between some of the talks.
I was glad that Ray asked me to be part of this, and I was glad to put together a set of folk tunes to cushion the atmosphere for my friend. I’ll have to do the same tomorrow for Janet Goloub’s celebration. It used to be weddings…..