Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on April 12, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 4 comments



Organ recital. (1)

An organ recital is a concert at which music specially written for the organ is played. The music played at such recitals is typically written for pipe organ, which includes church organs, theater organs and symphonic organs.

Organ recital. (2)

A group of senior citizens sitting in a coffee shop discussing their ailments.

I was blessed to have grown up in a musical household. We were reared on music and powdered milk… and a wooden yard stick on the arse, when required. I must admit that the music was much more palatable than powdered milk. As small children we were transported to the White Cliffs of Dover and discovered that it was a Long Way to Tipperary. Big band music put us In The Mood and when we got restless, we could climb aboard The Chattanooga Choo Choo. Bach, Beethoven and The Beatles. Music of all genres was the one constant in our house.

Growing up as a Catholic, going to church was mandatory. This is where I first heard thunderous music emanating from the massive pipe organ in the loft at Tigh Dhe. I was hooked. Over the decades, I had a front row seat in the senior choir watching the staggeringly talented James MacPherson produce heavenly music.

I love organ music and my dream is to someday sit in Temple Square in Salt Lake City (home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and hear a recital on the massive pipe organ housed in this iconic facility.

The next time you’re in a coffee shop or any place that seniors might gather, tilt your head to the side and listen in to the conversation. I know that it’s not polite to eavesdrop but there’s a good chance that these folks won’t see you, hear you, or remember that you were in their presence.

I can all but guarantee you that they will be discussing one of two things: their grandchildren or gout; their grandchildren or glaucoma; their grandchildren or gastroenteritis; their grandchildren or gall stones. Now this is what I call an organ recital.

“Love hurts. Love scars.” Nazareth. Love may hurt but not nearly as much as a senior’s joints.

I was at a dinner last week and everyone around the table was north of 70. Yes, the conversation was lively with talk of the indictment of a former president among other things (Jail House Rock?) but every one of us had a health story, whether our own or someone we knew.

Petula Clark had it right back in 1966. “It’s a sign of the times”. That was 57 years ago. Fifty-seven.

“Everybody’s got a hungry heart.” So says Bruce Springsteen. These days almost everyone has a heart valve.

“Come on baby, let’s do the twist.” Sorry Chubby. With all of the hip replacements, twisting is not an option. And if you were foolhardy enough to and try and do the twist at an advanced age it would be more like “Twist and shout.”

There is still hope of romance for seniors. The Flamingos famously crooned, “I only have eyes for you.” There’s a very easy explanation for that. Most seniors have cataracts and can’t see past the tip of their noses.

While losing hair can hardly be considered a cause for consternation, “Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair; shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen”. Did the Cowsills actually have fans?

I could go on and on… and on, as many seniors are wont to do if you give them an inch, but you get the picture. If you’re not talking about health, you’re certainly thinking about it.

I would love to go to an organ recital one of these days but if all else fails, I’ll just go to Tim Horton’s in the morning and pull up a seat next to a bunch of grey hairs.

If you want to hear about Harry’s hernia, Al’s arthritis, Steve’s spleen, or Charlie’s cholesterol, just turn up your hearing aids.

Have a great weekend.

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