My friend John Christie asked me to do a duo with him for a gated benefit event for children’s cancer down at the Steel Stacks area. Several large tents were set up with wine tasting and upscale food demonstrations. It was essentially a gathering of well-heeled patrons eating and drinking on a nice Saturday afternoon. I played this event last year, invited by Craig Thatcher, and was pleased to take part. They had pared back some of the loud bands from last year so I knew that our music was to be background for everything else, and especially today, playing for the last hour.

One of the nice perks, besides playing with John, is the full sound system provided by Phil Forchelli, a class community supporter and great sound man. We got to play with a full PA, and he made us quite comfortable. We started up the last hour after the auction, and folks started leaving (understandable with the food and wine they all imbibed…). There were a few folks who stayed and appreciated our music. John, of course, went with the flow, responding to the tunes I put up for grabs. We got some good music in, as I knew we would, as volunteers started to fold up chairs on the tables. I did mention to some of the flotsam remaining not to give us a standing ovation for anything or they would lose their seats.

The organizers apologized for the disappearance of the crowd but that was no big deal for us. We knew what we were in for, and, besides, it was a benefit that seemed to do quite well because of the format of fine food, good wine and folks with lots of money. There ya go. And we got to crank it up with a big, professional sound system.