I did my last Farmers’ Market in PA today at my very, very local FM a block away, at the very nexus of SouthSide Bethlehem and Lehigh University, Campus Square. It’s been a pretty long time since my last gig there; I could tell by the slant of the sun, but the sun felt pretty nice today. A sharp fall day, yet warm and sunny.

I had a chance to cruise the vendors beforehand and thanked them all for being there all season. And, after the gig, I went back, bought my supplies from them (enjoying a nice discount from them all) and shared my respect for them all.

I set up my fabulous sound system and cranked it up. It sounded really nice on Don’t Call Me Early. The FM facilitator came up and asked me to turn it down, “just a little”. Damn. I do appreciate this kind of ‘feedback’ since I am behind the speaker. Still, damn.

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these FMs, and I was pleased to have several old friends show up, sit down and take in some music. The Lehigh kids, of course, cruised through, as expected. The old Martin was having a tough time staying in tune today in the sunlight. I commented that it had been cooped up in a dark case all week and then was brought out into the blazing sun light. It was no wonder that it would complain.

Often various personal care folks come by with special needs patients. I welcome this opportunity to connect with this segment of my community. Today, a familiar lady and her aide sat down to eat lunch close by. I remembered that she loves to dance, so I launched into Splishin’ and Splashin’, and I was surprised that I got through a chorus before she got up and danced. It was a special energy in this rather academic courtyard. Her aide even got up later to dance with her charge. That was really nice.

I broke a string on my Martin with a half hour left, and I neglected to have spares on hand. (again…) so I leaned on my mandolin for the last half hour. It turned out to be a good thing. I played songs and tunes, and the Gibson treated me well. It stayed in tune and we sounded good. Several of the vendors thanked me for the mando work after I packed up. People do listen when I play it. That’s cool. This instrument is such a good tool, that, when it is in tune, I get to play some pretty nice instrumentals. I just have to channel the sound of this great mandolin, and it takes me somewhere else.

A very nice October day in the sun, making music in my neighborhood.