Summertime

Summer soon ends.

On stage the musicians focus on sheet music, their faces shiny, spotlights highlighting bluesy dancers on the parquet floor out front.

Who performs for an audience member like me?

The white-haired congo drum player, East Coast Swingers  or seated listeners tapping their toes?

Dry tree leaves line quiet country lanes — signs of a wet summer, early autumn or cold winter?

A chorus line forms as “Pennies From Heaven” plays, locals getting ready for a music video starring them in a Charleston combo with the Funky Pirate Jazz Band.

Happiness and confidence raises the crowd’s conversation volume.

Not being an official HSDS (Huntsville Swing Dance Society) event, available (known) dance partners are limited so male leads make bold moves to teach simple moves to new “students,” their one day being potential patrons of period party music, too.

At the 9 p.m. break, the musicians socialise, a dancer named Andrew dances with his shadow and this writer sits here in dispassionate, detached journalist diarist mode.

We are here to benefit a charitable cause that I seem to recall has to do with pets companions, millions of animal surrogates for human friends/family.

Is it odd to type on this device, sitting alone in an ivory crowd, writing about pet projects while my wife is home alone with our cats?

Perhaps because I spent the morning, afternoon and evening in events associated with college football?

From one style of big band music (University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland marching band in formation) to another (Moon Dust jazz band on stage) in one day toward the end of summer.

As summer weather patterns linger but daylight hours shorten, these questions lead to autumnal thoughts, sepia toned, muted intonations, frozen Volga River patterns carrying couples across the old cotton mill wood planks.

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