Senior Scene: When music and dancing collide
Our son Randy has invited us to an outdoor garden party in Graeagle, Calif. Kelly Ann Miller is listed as the “Live Music,” on the flier.
I nibble away at the homemade delicacies the sponsors have craftily created, but my eyes keep drifting back to Kelly. She’s lovely. She’s sitting on a stool, guitar in hand, singing; her voice clear and true.
Rosemary, our daughter-in-law, encourages 5-year-old Lily to go out and dance on the tiny plot of wood chips between Kelly and us. Rosemary steps out, Lily follows tentatively. Kelly is pleased with the audience participation. In a few moments, I become restless and join them.
“What would you like to hear?” Kelly asks. “A song of your own, something with a kick to it,” I say, and she sings, “La, la, and get over it.” Perfect, it’s foot stompin’ and the wood chips start flying. Lily twists, leans back and suddenly spins. She’s in a world of her own. Her moves are premeditated. She has a picture in her mind, pulls the trigger, and there it is before us. I dance as the music tells me to. Lily dances as the spirit tells her to. Rosie slips quietly back to her seat with the family.
Rosie, Lily’s 3-year-old sister, realizes she’s missing out, and joins us. Rosie is a combination Roman candle and cherry bomb. Her dance style varies from being a sprinter to a discus thrower. Rosie is a blur of speed and finds joy in movement of any kind. Lily is in her own Magic Kingdom of dancing, moving with languid abandon, then suddenly a leap, a spin, or a few kicks with her feet. Isadora Duncan would be pleased to call some of Lily’s moves her own.
It’s time for Kelly to take a break. Daddy, Mark, breaks out a $10 bill. Jenelle, Lily’s mother, asks Lily to go up to Kelly and buy one of the CDs that are for sale. Lily is a vision in her a salmon colored party dress with sequins around the neck. She goes up to Kelly. “Would you like me to sign it? Kelly asks coaxingly. “Yes, please,” Lily murmurs, and as soon as the moment is complete, she scampers back to mom and dad.
I gesture for Kelly to join us, and we get to know a little about Kelly as a person. As a child, she spent her vacations in Graeagle, and now it’s her home base. She does parties, benefits, bars, and tours. Soon it’s time to go back on the stand.
As we are about to leave, Jenelle says, “Lily, would you please go up and say thank you to the nice lady?” And away she goes. Now it’s our turn. Orllyene and I thank Kelly for making the afternoon a memorable one, and exchange hugs.
What a perfect afternoon. Kids, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents all in a lovefest, and it wouldn’t have happened without the “Live Music,” as provided by Kelly Ann Miller.
Ron Walker lives in Smith Valley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.