Monday, July 30, 2012

Tenacious G: Swinging With the Methodists

Tenacious G(randma) shares her wisdom.
Often, the older a person gets, the louder and less inhibited their comments tend to become in public places. They have grown old and wise, and now they want to share that with everyone within earshot.

Such is the case with my mother, aka, Tenacious G. She is 86 years old and ready to let anyone she encounters indirectly know how she feels about their tattoos, ("Why do people do that to themselves?"), mode of dress ("You can see up her shorts when she bends over, and it's not a pretty sight.") or whatever else ruffles her sensibilities.

Every Sunday during the summer, I take Tenacious G to free concerts sponsored by our town and area donors. If it's a sunny day, we take our portable chairs and sit in the park with our water bottles. Thankfully, in this wide-open setting, her sage comments fade on the wind. If it rains, however, the area United Methodist Church graciously hosts the concert in its building, which unfortunately has outstanding accoustics.

The sax player dons a stylish black hat.
This week, I took Mom to see a swing band. While the musicians were tuning up, she loudly announced that the drummer in the band looked like a woman. I quietly informed her that, no, he was a man. When she insisted that the drummer was a woman, I decided it was safer to agree. We were sitting in the pews of a church and her voice carried quite well.

Just as I was beginning to relax, she informed me and the surrounding community that the saxophone player should take his hat off since he was in a church. Then she modified her stance. He was dressed in black and wearing a black hat, so, she said, "He must be Jewish. If he's Jewish, he can wear his hat."

"No, the hat he is wearing is part of the swing dress style," I said. Big mistake. When will I learn?

"No, he's Jewish," she insisted a notch up in volume. Mind you, she is not antisemitic. Despite being an evangelical Christian, her late husband was Jewish. She just wants the world to share in her astute observations, as her mother did before her.

Finally, the band started up and played some wonderful swing classics. They were scheduled to perform from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Around 4 p.m., Tenacious G pointed to her watch. She had to get back to her assisted living facility for one of the highlights of the daydinner.

The raucous crowd breaks out into spontaneous dancing.
We were sitting up front. I suggested that we wait until the band finished their current number before we noticeably got up and walked down the aisle of the church to the parking lot. She agreed.

On the way home, she smiled sweetly and said that she had really enjoyed listening to the band and was looking forward to the Oldies band playing next week. I was, too.

Hopefully, next Sunday, it would be a nice, sunny day in the park.


  1. Nancy--keep these blogs coming! I get a major laugh out of so many of them. You make my day! Hey, I grew up in Mountain Lakes--who knew it was the sight of a miracle!