I've been asked by the organizers of my local city to bring and play my street organ at a downtown Christmas themed event they have every year. It's called a "Dickens of a Christmas". I think I have done this event three or four times now. They post a schedule of the "performers" on the cities website and have always listed me and where I'll be with the organ. Today was the event.
I have always set up in front of a downtown theater each year. Today I was running a few minutes late, then the area I always park in was blocked off as they were using this area as a loading zone for the horse and carriage rides this year. So I ended up having to park about 4 blocks away. Anyway....by the time I got to the theater it was about 5 minutes after 10. As I turned the corner with my music cart I hear this lady say...."here he is". He's here! Ummm...what??? I was shocked to see about 7-8 people waiting on me to get there to see and hear the organ. The lady tells me that she had read that I was to be there at 10 am and was disappointed when they got there with their kids and I was not there. However she was so happy that I was indeed there now and was getting ready to play the organ. It took a couple minutes to get the monkeys set up and a roll of music loaded then I started cranking away. The smiles on everyone's faces was such a great start to what turned out to be a very blessed day.
I work everyday in an environment where I'm talked down to and well....not treated very well. It makes life seem very bleak when your treated like this day in and day out. So to suddenly have people show appreciation and admiration towards me is quite a change from what I encounter everyday. I'm not one to seek attention however the organ does draw a crowd.
The downtown streets were full of people today and I had the best time. People waving and singing along and the kids had a great time watching the monkeys dance around as the music played. I handed out candy canes as they all stopped by. Adults smiling and wishing me a good day. Many of them stopped and asked questions about the organ and were fascinated with its operation. People stopped to take photos of me and with me. One lady went across the street to a small diner and brought me back a cup of hot chocolate. She said...here...I got this for you! What??? I had no idea who she was.
I was very humbled today. We live in a great country. There are good people in this world. Having built this organ and being able to play it for the community allows me to share in the joy.