PulseLine, July 31, 2012

Musical Note – Good for the Soul! I was strolling through Stanley Park on a couple of occasions recently when I heard the sound of acoustical music. I followed my ears towards the spot I believed it was coming from. There in the Chinese Tea Garden I saw a middle-aged gentleman playing the guitar and the harmonica at the same time. The music that he was playing
and singing reminded me of a simpler time when people used to play good acoustical music and enjoy it. This man sat alone playing some of the finest guitar playing and picking that I’ve ever heard, not to mention the syncopated rhythms and leads on the harmonica at the same time. I was mesmerized. I listened to about 3 songs and then this gentleman took a break. I spoke to him and said “you are obviously a professional…right?” He just smiled and said “professional, hmmm. Some people use that term loosely. I never considered myself a professional but it professional means you like what you do and you do it to the best of your ability and you enjoy what you do and other people like it, to me that’s satisfaction enough without the title of professional.” We talked further about music and I asked him if he took lessons as a child. He told me he never took a lesson in his life. Then he told me when he was young he listened to music and loved it so much that he had to learn how to play the guitar (and other instruments) and sing. I found it fascinating that a self-taught musician could play and sing to the capacity that he does. I looked down at the 2 other instrument cases and asked what they were. He showed me a mandolin and a 5-string banjo. I said “you play them also?” He said he used to play the banjo a lot years ago and the mandolin he just learned a while ago. I sat in awe as he played the banjo. He did the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillys t.v. show and the them song to the ’70s movie Bonnie & Clyde which he called Foggy Mountain Breakdown. He called this type bluegrass music. Then he picked up the mandolin and played 2 fast-paced picking tunes. My gosh, I was totally amazed that this man played 4 instruments so well and also had a great singing voice! I asked him why he wasn’t in Nashville and playing with big boys. He laughed and said “I might go someday, the walk would probably do me good! – Ha Ha” I shook his had and told him my name and asked him his. The big, bearded, burly gentleman answered “my names Charlie and I’m glad to meet ya”. I thanked him for the music and asked how often he played at the park. He simply replied “only when I feel like it”. He packed up his instruments and we parted ways. Well, you know it would be nice if live acoustic music was featured in Stanley Park more often for people to enjoy. If the people who put events on at Stanley Park ever heard this guy playing, they’d be wise to try to get him to do some musical entertainment. He told me he plays with some other musicians and he loves the park so much he’d be willing to put on some free musical entertainment with these other fellas. If people attending wanted to contribute to this the donations would go to the Stanley Park Preservation funds. If anyone from Stanley Park reads this or sees him up there, I suggest you set something up with him, or at least speak to him about it. Thanks Charlie for an evening of real pleasurable listening. Hope to see you again soon! Jim

Hello. We need to make sure we are harder on the idiot vandals when they graffiti and trash areas. They need to be caught and punished with fines and community service; they need to be made to clean up their messes and other areas. We need to keep things nice, you know. Someone also needs to monitor Grandmother’s Garden over by the school where people are throwing trash in the pond and littering – It’s not right. They worked hard to make it nice and neat just like they are doing to downtown Westfield. Our hearts go out to the officer that was killed by the dump truck.

Hi. This goes out to Officer Torres who has recently passed. All flags are at half staff and I think it’s about time for the City of Westfield and the construction workers put the flag up at half staff in our very own town ‘Green.’ They can still do construction and leave the flag up. So, please, put the flag up at half staff in memory of Officer Torres. Thank you.

I read the article in Saturday’s Westfield News proposing a curfew for the kid’s downtown. I remember when we were young, at 9 o’clock, we had a curfew where the fire department blew their horn and we all went home. That’s what they should have now because the parents have no idea where they’re at; they’re too busy with their own personal lives. So, I think it’s a good idea to bring the curfew back for certain ages, not 18 or 20, but the younger ones. Thank you.

Good morning. I was just wondering if there was anyone in Westfield who sharpens scissors or hedge clippers or anything like that. There used to be a gentleman who did that but he passed away last year. If there is anyone in Westfield who does that, please put your number in the Pulse Line. Thank you.

From the Medeiros family to the Torres family: Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and condolences. Jose, my friend, God bless you. Rest in Peace. Kevin Medeiros.

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