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Monday, July 06, 2009

Charlotte Symphony, Spoons, and Lots of Smiles


It was Friday night, July 3rd, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra was having a free concert in Southpark and there was going to be a wonderful fireworks display too.  So, other than the cost of gas, we decided it was well worth the fun to take the children to hear the orchestra and enjoy the fireworks.  We were also hoping it would not be as crowded as if it were on the 4th.


Wrong.  The place was mega packed.  We drove around for about 40 minutes just looking for a parking space and finally got one about a mile from the concert.  Because it was going to be a very long walk, we decided to leave the lawn chairs and the blanket in the Suburban.  No point in hauling that everywhere with us.  We walked through the crowds. 


And past these nice lookin' young men in uniform.


And the balloons.


We worked our way all the way up to the front of the orchestra and all I wanted to do was go home.  Hate to sound like a party pooper but I don't mix well in crowds, and this was a crowded place.  I'd never survive in New York.


Oh how I wanted to sit down.  Oh boy did I ever want to kick that guy out of his lawn chair and sit right in the middle of the sidewalk.  But then, as we got smack in front of the orchestra, I looked to my right and saw a grassy patch.  Empty.  With room for 5 butts.  Ours.


We had a front row seat.  As usual, Sarah's hair was in her face and she was looking a little too "teenagerish" for me.


Of course, handsome Matthew was all smiles.  Big Bear was sitting on the ground behind me and he made quite a nice, comfy lawn chair.  I knew there was a reason why I married this man.  He makes a great pillow.


What is it about teenagers?  They turn 15 and suddenly acquire this "look" like they're too big for their britches or something.


Then again, there is Glen.  He is the polar opposite of Sarah.  He forgot to brush his teeth and has peanut butter smeared on his cheek from that pbj he wolfed down an hour before.


The best part was that I got to sit back (yes, against my Big Bear) and enjoy the entertainment.  The conductor was a funny guy.


Being the strange person that I am, I couldn't help but think how horrible it would be if the orchestra fell into this disgusting looking, mosquito infested, green, gross, water.  And then I decided I wouldn't think about that anymore.


And, for some odd reason, the flag was stuck in this position.  But, it was still nice to see someone had tried to get it up.  (get your mind out of the gutter.  There is no way I could say that without sounding - wrong.)


Nice lens you got there buddy.  He must work for one of the local papers.


The musicians were wonderful.  The music was beautiful.


And the conductor was very entertaining.  He looked as though he was really enjoying the music too.


The orchestra put on a great show!  And it was Free!  I love Charlotte.


Have you ever heard a guy play the spoons?  Well, I'll tell ya, I've heard one person play the spoons in my life, and that was my former father-in-law Tom LeVasseur, Sr.  He came to our house in Maryland when I was a wee 20 yr old and was marrying his son, Doug.  We sat around our family room and conversed.  Then Doug said "Dad, play the spoons for everyone" and so, we handed him several spoons and he smacked his knees and kept the beat like nothing I had ever seen before - until this past Friday.  Yep, this guy was just as good as Tom LeVasseur, Sr. and he got quite the applause after his performance.  


This fella brought back a lot of good memories from 30 years ago.  Tom LeVasseur, Sr. has since passed away, but I'm sure he is playing the spoons somewhere and entertaining the angels.


The sun had gone down and now the orchestra played as the fireworks display went into full swing.  They were red...


They were white...


They were blue.


And they were beautiful.


And they were big.


And they sparkled.  The kids were so happy. 


I love hearing my children giggle and get so excited over the fireworks.


It made it all worth while. 


I'm so happy we came to the show.  I'm so happy we heard the orchestra.  I'm so happy the kids were happy.


I'm so happy I wasn't standing in the midst of crowds.


I just leaned back against my Big Bear and enjoyed the fireworks.


And the smoke.

Happy Birthday America!

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