Once again, I seem to find myself blogging in the dead middle of the night with bleary eyes, having posted nothing for many days, staying up only because I'm not in the mood to go to bed. I know, everyone should always be in the mood to be well-rested, but some days going to bed means that tomorrow is just going to come all the quicker and I'm not ready. So here I am. I don't even have anything all that interesting to say - nothing exciting is going on, although I seem to be headed into the busiest and super craziest month of my entire school year. I definitely won't be coming up for air until about March 5th. But I was thinking about an old story I wanted to jot down because it makes me happy -
My dad has been listening to a lot of John Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson, aka "The Piano Guys." They do have a lot of fun making music and videos and I enjoy them myself. But my dad is hooked. I haven't bought any actual CDs yet but he's got all of them. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just haven't gone there myself, is all. But I have been thinking a lot about John Schmidt - he's actually been a part of my life for a long long time.
It all started back in the summer after 8th grade. Oh my gosh - what year was that...'87? I think so. I went on a church trip with a whole bunch of kids and had this terrific adventure as we traveled to Havasupai Falls in Arizona. Can you imagine doing that now? I can't. The trip was crazy - hours of backpacking, complicated food assignments, kids sneaking out and skinny dipping in the pools at night (Me! With my friend/cousin Jessica - that was the best ever) a bus break-down in the middle of the night on the way home, and of course, a little romance along the way. With "Jeremy," last name not to be revealed, since everyone occasionally Googles their own name and that can lead to problems. Anyway, Jeremy and I kind of had this little romance over the trip, though he was uninvolved in and hopefully unaware of any skinny-dipping that occured. We did have many nice moments sitting on the rocks that looked across the lake to the majestic and just incredibly beautiful falls and gazing in total and complete awe at them. When we returned from the trip and before I decided I didn't like him as much as I thought I did which happened just about the time my parents caught us hanging out at my house alone together...sorry, tangent - he shared a tape with me.
This was an old, beat up, recorded-over-several-times little cassette tape. And on it was some poorly recorded music of the most beautiful piano playing I had ever heard, my favorite of course being this piece about a waterfall. (Surely you're familiar with John Schmidt's Waterfall number....) I listened to it over and over, even after I was done listening to it to bring back the magic of the romance. I just loved it so much. But this tape was totally bootlegged - from what I remember about it, Jeremy got it from a friend who had stolen it from another friend by breaking into his house by climbing over the garage door or something like that. (My memory is a little hazy on that detail.) And THAT guy had recorded it from the artist's demo tape. Or something. I think. Anyway, there was no name to go along with the music and so I just listened to this anonymous piano player with no idea as to who he really was.
So a couple of years go by; I'm now a sophomore at East High and spending quite a bit of after-school time there as I participate in many a theatrical production. One day I'm walking along in the hallway on a quiet afternoon; normal people go home when school is done. But there I am when suddenly, very quietly, I hear the strains of a familiar piece of music. I stop. I listen more closely, realize that what I'm hearing is THE guy, THE music I've had in my tape player or at least around it since my first doomed romance at the age of 14! I start walking quickly, looking around for who might be playing this on their ghetto-blaster (which of course was slightly larger and more unwieldy than my ipod nano where I keep my John music these days). (Oh my gosh - another quick tangent - my spell check does not like the word ipod and tried to replace it with IZOD! Get up to date a bit, spell check! Ha!)
Okay, ANYWAY, nowhere can I find the source of the music until I chase it all the way down to the auditorium where I run in, see this big tall gangly red-headed guy sitting at the piano and playing his heart out. I have no idea what he was doing there; he must have had a concert or something and was practicing. Whatever he was doing, he certainly was not expecting a young, barefooted girl to come crashing in there, eyes shining, at a full run. But that is what I did. When he, in utter shock, stopped playing I blurted out, "IT'S YOU!!!" (Did I mention the drama thing?)
How does one ever respond to that phrase? I don't know, and neither did he. Yes. It's me. And who are you? So I tried to explain my very random and slightly illegal story of how his music came to be a part of my life. If slightly confused and certainly alarmed he also seemed pleased by having such an energetic fan, and I think I even did come back to the theater that night or the next to listen from back stage to him perform.
Obviously he has gone on to have a neat career with his playing, and I am heartily happy for him. I am sure he has no recollection of the incident, but I'll never forget it. In his honor, I'll post a video of The Waterfall.