Another Gem

As you may or may not know, I spent the majority of my life thus far traveling in a band that consisted of my family members. We had some real great times. Real, great times. Here’s one recollection.

4.22.08—adventures and alarms leave me to give you a recount of the happenings of last friday evening. they were no less alarming than they were adventurous, therefore they won’t set in my memory for solitary contemplation.

it was running very close to the hour of seven at which point we were to present ourselves as “the franz family”. the very nature of our title leads one to believe that we are always presenting ourselves thus, because there is no running from our title. it’s true. every restaurant and bowling alley from here to there and back again will show account of “the franz family”, even when not seen with instruments in hand, we are: the franz family. or as one french in canada introduced us “the family frAHnz”.

all of these sidenotes will distract me to never get to the point of things, but here, i will concentrate. the clock on the wall was creeping steadily upon and expectantly closer to the hour of seven at every moment, and we were trying to become presentable. we, in this case, being audra and i. we were in a sunday school room, i’m assuming, in the church we were to do our concert in. we were feeling really  very normal about things, i had no notions that this was going to be an exceptionally unthinkable evening. the events in their wild quality began very shortly.

we were sitting on chairs, audra was about to put on a new round of clothes, and suddenly an old woman opens the door. i opened my mouth and said “um, this is our…” and then stopped when i realized she was purposefully letting a dog inside our room and then she said “i’ve got you now!” i’m thinking “what?!” and i’m fairly certain audra was thinking the same thing. well, the dog was blessed or cursed by an extremely jovial temperament and adapted to it’s new surroundings with glee displayed by consistent laps around and around the room. now, i realize the woman had every intention of trapping him, but she was so entirely old and slow i knew it was going to take a very long time. i reached a couple times towards the dog whizzing by me every couple seconds and then realized that he was rather fond of biting at people. the woman reassured us several times he wasn’t going to bite but his snapping teeth told me otherwise. i decided to wait it out and let her catch him. i determined to be serious, for her sake, and i was successful for a full two minutes at least and then i just burst out laughing. there was nothing for it! an old smelly woman was trapping a dog inside our dressing room! inside a church! it took another 10 minutes and the assistance of a couple more people to get this dog caught, but we survived the weird circumstances triumphantly and laughed at least until 3 seconds before putting up on stage.

the concert seemed to be going very well. i was extremely unsuspecting of the events soon to follow. a band of gypsies (i hope they won’t mind me calling them that) came to see us. they were fantastic! sincerely some of the most wonderful people i’ve met in quite some time, and i could tell by the looks on their faces that they liked us too. we were about halfway through our succession of songs and suddenly the bridge of my fiddle literally jumps off of my fiddle. i was stunned. previously i didn’t even know these kinds of things happened! at the end of the song i looked at caleb and said “i need your help” in a very hopeless manner. he and i took it to a side room and he told me he thought i was out for the weekend. i was unconvinced, it couldn’t be that bad. well, it so happened that the soundpost inside the fiddle had fallen over with the sudden release of pressure and you have to have a special tool to put it back up and caleb hadn’t brought it along. we still had three more concerts this weekend. i felt like romeo when he found out juliet was dead, and then i felt like juliet did when she woke up to find romeo had killed himself due to an incapacity to contain pain. i was left alone to fight the wars of life by myself. frankly i had no choice but death.

then i realized that was unreasonable and i had to get back up on the stage without my fiddle. we performed the rest of the concert without a fiddle and it was strange, i was still a bit traumatized and i think everyone was a bit concerned about me, or at least felt embarrassed around me.

afterwards everyone was very sweet and giving me advice or well-wishes, then i found out that there was a sweet old man whose name is lloyd who makes fiddles and they were taking my fiddle to him. i was left to socialize and think healing thoughts. he came back victoriously and had two fiddles. my mended one, and one he had built. he smiled and asked me if i would play his fiddle. i did, and then towards the end of the song i realized about 30 people were listening to me. dang it! i should’ve done better!

all this to say, a man named lloyd saved my weekend.