March 29, 2014


If you know a little about mrsguy, you know that I have many hours of 1940s Mexican music digitized and in my iTunes library. The reason for this is that I love 78s, and while helping to clean my great aunt Gertrude's attic many years ago I ended up inheriting a suitcase full of her records. I dutifully hauled them back to the west coast and thereby fell in love with Mexican orchestra music on the Peerless label. Nobody can quite explain why Gertie had this trove of Mexican music in her big old house off Rock Creek Park in DC, other than the fact that she and my grandmother were from the Texas panhandle. Hello Wichita Falls, Electra and Punkin Center!

Anyhoo as Kenney Dale Johnson, another Panhandlerian, would say, I fell in love with the music and have continued to collect, all these years later, music on the Peerless label (especially the vocals of Manuelita Arriola, Marta Triana, and Hermanas Padilla).

Speaking of Mexican music, one of the great musical events of my young adulthood in the big city was being home one night when the people next door were having a party where a mariachi band played. I was so happy that I threw open the windows and played along on my bass.

I retold this story to mrguy a few weeks after we moved to this house, in December, as I saw the next door neighbors setting up a bouncy castle and a pinata. Maybe they'll have a band! Yeah, right.

Toward dusk I came home from trimming the grand mamoo's Christmas tree only to find that my dreams had come true. The next door neighbors' party was in full swing, with an 18 piece brass band in the back yard. As our house overlooks theirs, I had a full view. Trumpets, trombones, clarinets, timbales, tubas -- louder than can be believed. All manned by young people, the oldest probably 18. It was fabulous. I poured a glass of wine and watched from the deck for 30 minutes or so. When the light went down I turned on all the lights in the house in the hope that they'd be able to play longer.

The next day at the salad bar at work, I ran into a neighbor friend who told me he could hear the party about 1/4 mile away. That's some sound, people.

This Monday, we were having a quiet evening at home. Mrguy was was dj-ing with some friends on the internet, and I was watching the real housewives. Then the music started. I went out front to watch. Mrguy went out to the deck. I came back in and joined him. I was so excited to hear the music that I ran out onto the deck and closed the glass door quickly so the cats wouldn't get out. Then I heard a thunk -- it had locked behind me. The good news is that you can't get back into the house from the deck. The bad news is somewhat similar. Additional good news was that there were people on the street. Additional bad news was that it was so loud that nobody could hear me yell for help. Eventually, between songs, I coaxed two guys who were smoking cigarettes across the street to come over and assist. Mrguy dropped his keys down to one of them and he let himself into our house and freed us from our deck.

All for the love of music, Man.

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