PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM
Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine on Thanksgiving Day.
She teases smilingly, “It’s a little too soon for Christmas music, don’t you think?”
I am reply adamantly, “It’s never too soon for Christmas music. I would play this stuff all year round if they let me.”
And it sounds like silver bells.
At the end of a leisurely two hour brunch, she thanks me, “Keep enjoying what you do. I had a lovely time listening.”
I cannot resist, I’ve been sneaking glances at her all day, and it finally just blurts out, “You look so much like Renée Fleming.”
And ringing merrily on high she informs me, “I get that a lot. I certainly know her very well. I’ve played her boyfriend on stage many times. And I watched Renée this morning on TV in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. But no, I’m Susan Graham.”
I have morosely mistaken one grammy winning opera diva and Living American Treasure for another.
To. Her. Face.
She sees my utter mortification and deep embarrassment.
With the graciousness of a true superstar, she asks to take a selfie with me at the piano.
In the photo, which then gets texted to me from her personal cell phone, I am positively beaming because I am so very thankful for her sense of humor and warmth, her generosity of spirit as well as her forthright humility.
May these fundamental things apply to us all.
As time goes by.