Monday 31 July 2023

Let the Good Times Roll by S.Nadja Zajdman, a glass of vintage wine

In the middle of this month I attended a rock’n’ roll concert in a local park.  After three years of restrictions, it was a pleasure to mingle with people who were fully enjoying themselves.  What was wonderful was the air.  It was fresh.  Almost soft, the way air should feel on a summer evening.  The sky was blue, with white clouds in it.  There was a breeze.  After weeks of wildfires and heatwaves, on the eve of a near-tornado, this evening’s air felt like a whiff of an old perfume. 

            The band performing was called Vintage Wine.  This band has been coming to my neighbourhood every summer for years.  The baby of the band was forty-four years old.  The other band members were in their sixties, and even in their seventies.  At one point they belted out The Stones’ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, though they didn’t dare attempt Rod Stewart’s Do Ya Think I’m Sexy. 

            The majority of the audience was of the same generation.  So were the neighbourhood V cops (volunteer cops) who, on this evening in the park, were mostly female.  Identifiable by their bright orange and yellow vests, they bopped along the park paths in time to the music.  One gray-haired little V cop erupted into a full-blown dance.  And she was good!  They were couples rockin’ and rollin’.  Women on their own shimmied with each other.  During a 1950s' slow number, an elderly couple entwined and swayed in a locked embrace.  Those who came by car—the park’s parking lot was full, and cars lined the streets, too—brought and set up canvas chairs.  I stood under and against a tree bathed in a setting sun.  When I got tired of standing—and bopping—I headed further into the park and sat on a bench in front of fountains, watching children frolic and splash among the spouts.  People smiled at each other, and a few smiled at me.  When I returned to a spot close to the bandstand, one of the V cops engaged me in conversation.  “You look like you’re enjoying yourself.”  She noticed.  What a pre-pandemic thing to say and do. 

            One young woman was filming the concert with her phone.  I don’t understand this.  One can find everything on YouTube these days, so why not just show up and enjoy the moment?  Another young woman asked a V cop for directions to the bar.  There was no bar.  “But it’s called Vintage Wine!”    

            At the end of the concert the local mayor and his wife glided up a path like a pair of swans.  They deigned to the crowd as though they were Charles and Camilla.

            All in all, a good time was had by all.  May there be more to come.

About the author 

S. Nadja Zajdman is a Canadian author. Her memoir I Want You To Be Free, as well as her story collection The Memory Keeper were published in 2022. Zajdman's third book, Daddy's Remains, is scheduled for publication at Christmas of 2023. 

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