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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Usetabee Enters The Lexicon

I’ve been ill. It’s pointless to talk about it because no matter what, I’d get better. Some people have things from which they do not recover.

I’m getting older now. Old enough to report from time to time that I usetabee things.

I usetabee a musician. By that, I mean I did it in a substantial way, often,and made money from it. I guess I’m still a musician. I mean, I still own the things. But I was never any good, just fairly succesful as those things go, and the time for me to do it has passed. Almost.

I am required to play a couple of times a year. The dates are cemented on the calendar from years –or decades– past and must be met. And last weekend was such a date.

We play in midsummer at Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire, in a little community called Far Echo Harbor. And it doesn’t matter if you’re sick or busy or an adult, or what, you go because a lot of people depend upon you to go.

I get the use of a house a few hundred feet from the lake for the whole week. Of course I don’t live in the world of a week off, so two days it is and then the spiders have it the other five. It was enough.

They plant us on a big deck with the benches removed, right on the sand, have an enormous barbecue right there, and then 250 people or so dance in the sand as the sun goes down, and boats from across the enormous lake tie up just outside the swimming ropes, and the people make their own fun. We are just their prop, and willing to give them what they want. They are the nicest people in the world.

My little boy, just four and very quiet, got up on the stage and sang into the microphone. My older boy, eleven, danced with teenage girls so achingly beautiful that men as old as me are not allowed to look directly at them. My wife sat in a beach chair and was beautiful and happy and… away from home for a day. Big, that.

The guitarist’s son and his mates played, and they are better than us now. They were just children having an amusing go of it in front of their friends just a few short years ago. And then the old men got up and showed why they used to be something.

They all come up and thank me and shake my hand after. I don’t know why. It’s me that owes them something, for allowing me to put usetabee away for a day. I can never repay it. It has to be enough, to show up.

4 Responses

  1. What do you do with hasbeans? Make a bubble bath.

    I loved “What About Bob?”, set on said Lake. It’s fun to say its name.

    Glad you were well enough to put down the saw and drill and pick up your axe.

  2. I know the place well. Usetabee I spent summers at the end of Winaukee road.

    If you don’t know the area that well, Far Echo Harbor is at the beginning of Winaukee rd.

    Usetabee the only store for miles was JoJos, and the paved road ended just out of sight of Long Island road.

    Does JoJos even exist anymore?

  3. Hi Chris- Heh. JoJo’s is indeed still there and is every bit the local fixture it always was. I have never been to the Lake and not gone into JoJo’s. And none of the roads in Far Echo Harbor are paved yet.

    Ruth Anne- My children call the lake hockeypesockey.

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