Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rabble Rousers

I just came home from visiting with a 90-year-old neighbor who is determined to live in her own house as long as she can. Tuesday is my night to take off her pressure stockings, one of the few things she can't manage on her own. Mostly, it's a good excuse to hear her stories. She grew up the daughter of the couple who owned the local pool hall and knew everyone in town.

Another neighbor had taken her to spend the afternoon in the Springville High School gym watching the girls' basketball team play. She gushed and gushed about how much fun she had, how many friends she saw, and then reminisced about her years at Springville High.

She had played clarinet in the band, but was tapped to twirl the baton by a new drum major, fresh in from California. The drum major dressed the twirlers in short pleated skirts and cowboy boots, creating quite a stir up and down the Wasatch Front.

She also told me about her late husband who had played the trumpet in school and then well into his adult years, traveling around with dance bands. Sometimes he'd play in Carbon County, through the canyons southeast of Springville. She said it was against the law for bands to play and people to dance on Sundays in Utah then. That meant things were supposed to shut down at midnight on Saturday. But Carbon County, she said, made up their own laws, and people there danced into the wee hours.

I love our neighborhood.

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