Thanksgiving 2017: The Band

The Band, grayed faces

Well, another successful Thanksgiving year come and gone, replete with all the sugary trimmings, family drama, and dinner table repartee. I look forward to this time of year because as a writer, I love the family fights. It makes such amazing material.

This year also marked what will hopefully result in a new tradition: the family band. After all, we are an immensely musical people. I can play three chords on the guitar, my son Raymie, aged nine, is a beginning violinist, and sometimes my twin five-year-olds can sing on key. Add to this mix my first cousin Merle’s two boys, who just began on saxophone and drums, and I think we got something

“What do you want to sing this year?” I asked Merle, who is my age, and who I figured would be our lead singer since she is almost completely tone deaf. I love it when Merle sings. She doesn’t care that she can’t carry a tune, and it doesn’t hurt her feelings when you tell her to mute all the strings on her guitar, which she has no idea how to play. This is the way it goes when you have a family band. You cannot be picky.

Following the zeitgeist of the month, Merle chose Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man — a rather ironic pick in my view. After all, who wants to feel sorry for a jilted man after he’s likely been molesting young girls or jerking off in front of a subordinate in a hotel room? Not me. But this was the song that that Merle picked, so we gathered up our drum sticks and went to work.

Did anyone know that the F on a keyboard or violin transposes to an entirely different note, like a Q or an X, for the alto saxophone? This was news to all of us, especially the saxophonist.

We are thankful for so many things this year, we and our Thanksgiving band. We are grateful for good food, good health, good times. We are thankful to be all together in these nefarious political times because though some of us may be men, our men are good men, none of whom are solitary.

Here’s a video (edited to protect the faces of the innocent) for all of you to enjoy this Thanksgiving. May your plates be full and your stomachs fuller, may you have health and happiness, and may none of you, particularly the men out there, be solitary.


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