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People young and old enjoy belting out a tune or two

Sometimes, you just feel like singing.

That doesn't mean you know how to sing, or that you hang out with folks who would know the difference.

Hey, you don't have to be Tom Smalley to be a Kiwanian. You can lip sync to Yankee Doodle or My Wild Irish Rose, or you can stammer, and Tom will never call you on it. And if you get a stare from across the table, just look back and nod and whisper "That's OK," as though another club member had littered the air with noise.

You can mutter Mother Machree while everyone else is singing Mama Mia. After all, it's all in the whole mothers genre. Of course you have to change tables every Monday, but The Depot is a big room.

But sometimes you just have to let it go.

So there I was, the Saturday sun hiking west and the action just heating up outside Platters on Main Street.

And there were the people of Thomson and the McDuffie region, sharing the dance floor that previously had been mistaken for a patio.

There were folks who hadn't read the manuals about what ages are supposed to enjoy what kind of music. And there was an older fellow wondering whatever happened to the Boot Scoot in his Boogey. Oh, yeah, that was me.

Yes, it must be these new boots.

And folks were chuckling and nodding and smiling and encouraging and waving, and of course singing. The event had been billed as "kid-friendly" and indeed it was. Youngsters took their turns delivering tunes that The Beatles could only have imagined.

An impromptu couple delivered a love-gone-wrong song. Although the words were right there on the screen, for the whole crowd to see, the audience seemed surprised and pleased when the story line took novel twists.

And one fellow had the nerve to ask for an old song called Scarlet Ribbons. Of course Danny Thomas made that a hit. But it's in the style of Roger Whittaker.

Who's that, he wondered. But he tried anyway, and moms and daughters smiled about their own childhoods. "And for me, some scarlet ribbons, scarlet ribbons for my hair."

It's about ribbons that magically appear on a child's pillow after her prayer. And folks were generous in their appreciation or respect, and he thought that was a minor miracle in its own right.

And the evening darkened and the crowd dwindled, and the standby singers came to the rescue.

And Charlie Pride and Johnny Cash took their turns singing loudly enough to drown out the fellow who just couldn't take a hint and sit down.


And the passers-by thought about joining in, then stayed their homeward course.

The scene could have happened anywhere. It has happened at Hogie Joe's, and we can hope it happens there again. I am not philosophically opposed to indoor venues or great salads.

It could happen in a park or at a picnic. Folks deserve a chance to let down their guard and pick up a mic.

But on that Saturday night it happened on Main Street. Most folks had a good time. One older fellow had a great time. Oh yeah, that was me.

Web posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011

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