Today's gathering is attended by descendants of Hubert, Helen and Ben, who is the father of Meryl, Dwight and myself. My brother, Dwight, is moderator for a talent show, which follows the luncheon. His opening comment is that there are 360 talent acts listed on the sign-up sheet. Oh, Dwight, you are so funny!
Historically, residents of this small town where I spent my elementary and high school years come to visit the Pittmans and join us for lunch. Today we have Alton Cain, Jr., or 'Junior Cain,' as we always called him, and his wife, Anita Hinson Cain. She is tapped to play the piano for her talent, choosing Chopin's "Nocturne" (Op. 9 No.2).
Because there are so many -- a few less than 360 -- I will comment on Ben's family first.
My sister, Meryl, confesses that she has not had time to practice, so simply sits at the piano and plays whatever comes into her mind. She does runs, whole pieces, intros, and I get mesmerized listening. She makes the instrument rock! All too quickly, she stands to walk away. I ask her to please play "Bumble Boogie" but I am too late; the next act is coming.
Dwight's family has several, beginning with his wife, Nancy's, tap dance. He introduces her as having won the title of Mz. Missouri 15 - First Runner-up. She tries begging off because of an injured foot and forgetting to bring the music accompaniment she had planned, but the audience cheers her on. She dances to Ella Fitzgerald's, "Alexander's Ragtime Band."
Dwight reads from the sign-up sheet, "Next up is Meryl with 'Animal Sounds.' Laughter, laughter, and a gasp from Meryl. "Who wrote that on the sheet?" No one confesses.
Stealing the show at this point are Dwight and Nancy's daughter Heather's twins -- Isabelle Rose (Issy) and Gabrielle Mae (Gabby) -- doing a tambourine dance to Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag."
I am blown away! I cannot believe this talent. These young ladies do not miss a beat or a step. The synchrony is amazing. At the end of their act, applause is heard into the next parish. (Louisiana does not have counties.)
What talent will Dwight show? He mimics playing his bass fiddle, which he did not bring, in the interest of conserving space in their camper.
His daughter Lee Ann sits at the piano with Gabby, while Issy looks on, and play "Mama's Little Baby Loves Shortnin Bread." Really well.
Next Dwight announces a husband and wife team, calling for Herb and Willie. It is my turn to scream! "No!" Well, we could pretend to drive and tie up a boat to a dock. But we are let off the hook.
Oh, wait, my talent is to try to get photos of all the acts while not blocking the view of those sitting behind me.
Find Willie's camera....
Willie of Willie's Tug,
and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
Saturday, July 30, 2016