A Step Back In Time: My trip to a GMS talent show

Sometimes, it’s nice to get away from the hubbub, even if only for a couple of hours. Work, long bus rides, home, eating, management of apartment needs, sports, NPR, books, and sleep. Ah, to break out of that routine.
But the other side of that is; when you dare to venture out in such a way, how do you keep yourself from becoming catatonic? I’m definitely trying to find that balance as I settle in to my new job, having just passed the 3-month mark which is pretty cool. And with that has come the startling realization that by making very small adjustments to my hearing aid, I could drastically improve both my ability to hear and to cope with the day.
Anyway, back to my point. Yesterday, I met up with an individual who stays in my neighborhood. He volunteers at the Governor Moorehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, and he thought perhaps I would enjoy attending their end of year talent show. I had to peel myself off of the couch, but decided I should indeed make the trek.
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He pulled up to my place around 6:30 PM, and I jumped in. I was
excited, in perhaps a nerdy way?, to get a look at what the Ariadne
iPhone GPS app said as we sped toward Raleigh. I chatted with him some and let Voiceover call out street names as we went, which he thought was pretty cool also. It’s somewhat surprising how many people, even those with iPhones, don’t know anything about the Voiceover screen-reading program. I suppose we’ve still got more educating to do, huh?
After battering our way through more stop-and-go traffic, we reached that campus at approximately 7:10. It’s instant: as soon as we stepped onto the creeking floors of Lineberry Hall, a building that feels and smells like it was constructed in the mid 1800’s, I was flooded with childhood memories.
One in particular was when I and my cohorts had done our own talent
show some 20 years ago. I was to be some kind of peddler, standing on the street corner and selling caps to passersby. I said something like:
“Get your hat, get your hat, 50 cents a cap!”
I remember not having any idea what I was even talking about, just
knowing it’s what the adults had told me to do. Being a kid is funny like that sometimes.
Flashing forward to modern times: the lobby and auditorium were hot but packed As we entered, someone was singing The
Chain of Love, by Clay Walker.
It’s an excellent country song that tells a story of someone who makes an unnecessarily large payment to another individual, I think the waitress?, and that payment comes back around to help him somehow. That’s the Youtube link, check it out if you’ve not heard it.
If that person was singing it, and not, say, dancing, then he did a
great job. We’d come in halfway through the song, so I didn’t get to hear any such announcements on that.
There was quite a mix of songs performed throughout. The next act was I think a group doing We Are Never Getting Back Together, by Taylor Swift. And ok, I’ll admit that silly song is kind of catchy, mainly because she does that strange yoddling thing before the course. Is she crying about her lost relationship?
Speaking of teen-ish songs, of course someone had to do Call Me Maybe. I hadn’t even heard that one till I moved back to Pinebluff between September and January, and well, I don’t really get the appeal. The individual performing did about as well as the singer, which is to say ok. Again, I guess it’s just one of those catchy diddies that you hear and get stuck on a loop in your head.
My favorite act was a five-person drum circle. They had a pretty good sounding percussion going in there, perhaps feeding into the narrative that blind folks are often good with rhythm. I know I and my cousins have always been. I’m not sure how old the kids were who put that particular portion on.
They also had what I think was a younger individual haltingly play Jingle Bells in single keys on the piano. Everyone gave that person a rousing applause though, which I thought was a nice thing to do.
In fact, the audience was quite alive throughout. Cat calls, cheering, even rhythmic clapping broke out when someone struck a wild west-sounding tune. I had to fight to stay awake, but I still
thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The show ended shortly after 9, with the obligatory refreshments and introductions. The intros are what I was most looking forward to, as I knew it might present some sort of networking opportunity. The individual who brought me had me shake hands with a number of folks, and he said he’ll help me follow up with some of them later, once they’re not in such a harried position. So, we shall see.
I really hope to start doing more of that kind of stuff, if I can find some way to balance it with the work schedule. I got back in at around 10:30, but still made it through today without getting too entirely sleepy. The big Friday lunch I’ve grown accustomed to, along with the already mentioned hearing improvements, contributed a lot to that. I’m afraid that now I won’t wake again till Sunday afternoon, whenever I finally lay down.

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