I blogged here about the late Jane Scott, who was still reviewing rock bands into her 80s. Today I thought I might write on a couple mature gals in wheelchairs who write a political blog on WordPress. Unfortunately, their language is too salty for a blog associated with Luna & Stella. So I’m going to tell you about a jazz musician who, having been rediscovered in his 80s in a nursing home, and is back in the business.
As Dan Barry writes in the NY Times, “For years, the donated piano sat upright and unused in a corner of the nursing home’s cafeteria. Now and then someone would wheel or wobble over to pound out broken notes on the broken keys, but those out-of-tune interludes were rare. … Then came a new resident, a musician in his 80s with a touch of forgetfulness named Boyd Lee Dunlop, and he could play a little. Actually, he could play a lot, his bony fingers dancing the mad dance of improvised jazz in a way that evoked a long life’s all. …
“And so Mr. Dunlop would have remained, summoning transcendence from a damaged piano in the Delaware Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, his audience a couple of administrators, a few nurses and many patients beset with dementia, loneliness and age — were it not for a chance encounter … .
“In the spring of 2010, a freelance photographer named Brendan Bannon arrived to discuss an art project with nursing home administrators — and Mr. Dunlop greeted him at the door. … A bond quickly developed, and before long Mr. Dunlop invited his new friend to hear him play what he referred to as “that thing they call a piano.” Mr. Bannon, who knows his Mingus from his Monk, could not believe the distinctive, vital music emanating from a tapped-out piano missing a few keys.
“ ‘He was a beautiful player,’ Mr. Bannon says. ‘He was making it work even though it was out of tune.’ ” Read the whole story.
I told my kids that I used to hope I’d make a splash before I was 40. Then before I was 50. Now I’m thinking 90 is more realistic.