Magical Moment #40

We arrived at a rather dark residence, the occupants obviously not expecting visitors. As we approached the dark porch, a shadow passed the front window while we were deciding whether to knock or ring. The door swung open and the tall man of the house seemed a bit relieved to see that the four men on the porch had not arrived with malicious intent. (Perhaps it was the red shirts and black suspenders or maybe the rose and card in our tenor's hand.)

We introduced ourselves and informed him of the purpose for which we were visiting his home. He immediately invited us in and introduced us to his wife, Nellie. Nellie showed us into the family room expressing her total surprise. She was flustered and obviously nervous as any lady of the house would be. (She had four strange guests in her home and she was totally unprepared. If she had known we were coming she would have knocked herself out cleaning, straightening and primping for hours prior to our arrival. Instead she just had to receive us as she was, in pajamas, slippers and without makeup.) Her husband called for his daughter to come quickly and would not allow us to sing to Nellie until his daughter also arrived.

We sang our first song as Nellie sat in front of us somewhat in shock but obviously enjoying the harmony. Her husband grabbed a camcorder and now our visit would be digitized for years to come. As we sang our second song, Nellie was overwhelmed with emotion, realizing that her son had thought so affectionately of his mother that he'd planned such an event. Tears came to her eyes and our lead singer had to look elsewhere in the house as he sang to avoid an emotional breakdown in the middle of the song. Of course we ended with "Wait 'til the Sun Shines Nellie" because we couldn't pass up the opportunity to combine such a coincidence of names. After some hugs of appreciation we excused ourselves, walking with more pep in our step than when we arrived.

Our director was right, as always. The quartet experience is the epitome of enjoying the barbershop singing experience. As we continue to strive to "sing well and have fun", we are overwhelmed and humbled by the realization that our fun has been transformed into precious family memories of love and appreciation that will live on in the hearts of a mother and her son.

Written from a baritone perspective,

Larry Mellinger
Crown City Chorus

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