Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Summer Evening, A Teacher, The Future

A Summer Evening
It was a warm summer evening last Sunday, and we spent it with good friends, enjoying, listening, and for me, remembering the past, and pondering the future.

Over the past decade or so, the music of one particular group has been one of the primary play lists in the
background music to the life of this middle aged father and husband.

Sunday night Oldest Daughter and I joined good friends for an memorable evening of Bluegrass music - at the Largo in West Hollywood. On the bill - The Punch Brothers (photo above) and The Watkins Family (photo below). Some of these amazing musicians have a common genesis - from the group Nickle Creek.

For almost two hours we enjoyed the acoustic Bluegrass music of Chris Thile and The Punch Brothers. The was ridiculously good music. No amps and electricity for these guys. Just a banjo, guitar, acoustic bass, fiddle and mandolin. Beautiful.

After this, off to the bar for the "after show", featuring the Watkins Family. Another hour and a half of haunting melodies, beautiful lyrics, lots of laughs, and great music by amazingly talented people who surely enjoy each others company. It seemed we were all transported to a different place for a time, a place where only the music mattered.

If you ever want to head on down to the Largo and experience something special at the Watkins Family Hour, here is all you would ever need to know.

A Teacher
Our family was introduced to Nickle Creek almost eight years ago, through the gift of a 5th grade teacher. A teacher with a warm smile, a terrific sense of humor, and a gift of love. And, a teacher with a guitar. This was no ordinary teacher, this was the woman who changed the course of my daughter's life. If you asked her, Kelly might tell you she wants to grow up and be, well, much like that teacher. She will be majoring in Elementary Education this fall at DePaul University - and we can trace it back to Miss Lang in the 5th grade. The year that changed history for Oldest Daughter.

Miss Lang would bring her guitar to class most every Friday, and play for the kids. And one of the songs sh
e played is shown below.

Miss Lang is an entirely unique and remarkable teacher, someone who takes her work seriously, expresses joy daily, loves kids well, and fills the room with her personality. She teaches her kids well, and loves them greatly. Its a rare commodity these days; someone who does their job with all they have, with all their heart.

The Future
As I sat in the dark soaking it all in, I would occasionally glance over at Oldest Daughter, enjoying her gaze, and her smile; feeling thankful for the young lady she is becoming. For a moment I smiled and thought to myself, "imagine this, we are together at a concert, enjoying the same music!".

I also remembered those days in 5th grade, and the gift of Miss Lang. I thought about the future, and the teacher this young lady next to me might become. I am amazed at this life.

When You Come Back Down

You got to leave me now,
you got to go alone

You got to chase a dream,one that's all your own
Before it slips away

When you're flyin' high,take my heart along

I'll be the harmony to every lonely song

That you learn to play
When you're soarin' through the air
I'll be your solid ground

Take every chance you dare

I'll still be there
When you come back down

When you come back down
I'll keep lookin' up awaitin' your return

My greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn
And I won't feel your fire
I'll be the other hand that always holds the line
Connectin' in between your sweet heart and mine

I'm strung out on that wire

And I'll be on the other end

To hear you when you call Angel,
you were born to fly

And if you get too high
I'll catch you when you fall
Catch you when you fall

Your memory is the sunshine every new day brings

I know the sky is calling Angel,
let me help you with your wings

When you're soarin' through the air
I'll be your solid ground

Take every chance you dare

I'll still be there

When you come back down

Take every chance you dare

I'll still be there
When you come back down
When you come back down
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