Posts Tagged ‘TotemMX’

We sat just six rows back from the orchestra at the Schermerhorn, and waved at the Pumpkin’s classmate in a box seat nearby. He asked if there would be sound when we saw the gigantic movie screen, if we would hear the actors? I said no, it would probably just be the music of Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back. He seemed to take that in stride, then a whole family in Star Wars costumes sat down in front of us and the theatre darkened. https://www.nashvillesymphony.org/4386

Bob and I bought tickets ages ago, not knowing if another variant might strike, or immunizations for children would be approved. There had been no Nutcracker for two years, no pictures of points in time, like the yearly Big Apple Circus pictures and posters that once littered our home. First from the Berkshires, where I was standing with the Bride at a concession stand holding a pink cloud of cotton candy, just moments away from giving birth to her brother. And later from Lincoln Center, surrounded by friends and family.

Yesterday we stopped for lunch at Fifth and Broad. As we walked past the honky-tonks to the symphony center the Rocker looked up at me… no, wait, it wasn’t the Rocker it was my L’il Pumpkin.

“I know why they call this The Music City,” he said without a bit of irony.

It was only a two block walk, but we had to swerve onto Broadway just to avoid a crooner who was leaning out of a bar window, serenading a bride-to-be in white hot pants, boots and veil. Then we hopped back onto the sidewalk to avoid a pedal tavern full of tourists drinking and singing. I wondered what an alien might think of our civilization if he/she/it managed to land in our town.

Science fiction holds a special place in our family history. Bob and I first started dating in high school, and Star Trek was the weekly highlight in our developing saga. The Bride’s first real movie, in fact was Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back in 1980. She was six months old and slept through the whole thing on my lap.

But the Rocker’s obsession with Star Wars started even earlier. He cut his baby teeth on the Lucas Film space opera. He created stop-action films in our garage of its characters. Little did we know that later, after years of touring in his rock band, he would move to California and start composing Star Wars music for the trailer industry; that he would develop a company to archive cinematic sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQmIi6D38Rg

When we visited Disneyland this year, I wasn’t so sure who was more excited – my son or my grandson?

The Pumpkin’s eyes were transfixed, his energy barely contained by the seat. The Nashville Symphony musicians had tuned their instruments and were about to begin – “In a galaxy far far away” scrolled up the screen. We could hear the actors’ dialogue amidst a swelling wave of John Williams’ music. We leaned back in our seats ready for action and adventure.

I thought about bringing the toddler Rocker to his first Broadway show in NYC. We were in the front row, on top of the orchestra pit. I wasn’t so sure my little boy, my perpetual motion machine, would last through the whole play of Into the Woods. But he too was mesmerized, standing and looking at the musicians, almost willing them to engage him.

Later, in middle school, we’d won the warm-up dance contest on stage before another NYC show. We came with Grandma Ada to see Lucy Lawless, the actor who played Zena, Princess Warrior, in her Broadway debut of Grease. I was exhilarated and he was only slightly embarrassed. We both won tee shirts! He was starting his first band back then, they would play at his Bar Mitzvah.

While we Ubered home to our shared neighborhood, I asked the Grands what instrument they would love to learn to play. Their piano lessons had been on hold since the pandemic started. The Love Bug immediately said she’d like to learn how to play the guitar; thank you Taylor Swift. And the Pumpkin thought for a full minute, and then said the drums. Lucky for him, the Groom’s band keeps a set of drums in the garage apartment!

Maybe my daughter and son-in-law will host a teenage band in their garage someday too.

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My Nashville family has returned home from New Zealand and Australia. They Ubered straight from the airport to their home, just a few hours after we’d tucked the Grands into bed. Bob and I were happy no bones had been broken during our tenure. Well, just my left thumb, when a basketball landed straight on it in the Sound Waves pool. This was ostensibly the highlight of their week with us, the biggest water park in the world!! (maybe) at the Grand Ole Opry; but for me it was always those tender bedtime talks.

I found out that the L’il Pumpkin loves school. He really loves learning, and can now count by tens! He also plays alphabet Go Fish with aplomb, proving he’s ready to read. And the Love Bug is so sweet she offered to finish singing my Yiddish lullabies because my Fall cold was having its most severe effect on my throat. In fact, my croaking voice wasn’t relaxing at all, it only made them giggle.

Pop Bob had fun fixing little things around their house. Like any good pilot, he had his checklist of things to do – new batteries for the dogs’ invisible fence collars, fix master bathroom door, replace the silverware holder in the dishwasher. I texted my daughter in the middle of their trip, asking her if they might mind all this fixing-up? Great Grandma Ada had once warned me about stepping on the toes of in-laws.

The Bride replied, “You are welcome to fix as much as you’d like!”

After all, they are a busy professional couple. The Groom was accepting an award for his Vanderbilt research in Melbourne, at the World Congress of Intensive Care in collaboration with Australia New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS). As much as we’d like to think the world is flat and connected by technology, there is still something to be said for actually meeting up, face to face, with others around the globe doing research in your field.

Still, we could Facetime with them after meeting a koala! And I could pull out my smart phone at Sound Waves and slo-mo video the Love Bug under a waterfall!

I was reminiscing with Bob about his primitive use of early video cameras, the kind you hoisted on your shoulder in the 80s. Just then the Rocker texted us – did we happen to have that stop-action film he made in our NJ garage with his Star Wars action figures? He was just about the Bug’s age when he and a friend would spend hours recording Luke Skywalker’s adventures in minute detail. If the weather wasn’t conducive for a trip to the beach, creativity ensued on that cement floor.

The L’il Pumpkin and Pop Bob assembled an incredible Star Wars battle station in Legos while I drove the Love Bug to basketball practice one night last week. And just like that, this morning, my son and his new company Totem has released another amazing Star Wars trailer, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

All those years ago, in our garage with his imagination, and later with his bandmates. Music was always playing in his mind and through his fingers. I am trying to convince the Bride that we should all be Star Wars characters for Halloween because,  “The Story Lives Forever.” Here are our little Jedi Knights at the museum.



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