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Thread: Amusing story

  1. #1

    Default Amusing story

    About two years ago, a young Afghani family bought the house next door. Haven't really had much contact with them as I have shrubs growing clear to the street. Figured they just wanted to keep to themselves. Good neighbors as far as noise, etc.

    Anyway, last week the wife knocks on my door with her nine year old son, explaining that she was my neighbor, which I knew, and apologizing it had taken her so long to come over, and that it was their custom to bring food to their neighbors, a custom she wished to teach to her son. Over the course of the conversation, she admitted to being afraid to knock on my door. Why? Because of the color of her skin. I should have been the one apologizing.

    Now to the amusement. My wife was as horrified as I that she would have to live like that and we chatted a bit, when the woman mentioned hearing the music. I play my mandolin a lot in my backyard, and my wife is always telling me how loud I am, so she said she was always telling me that, to witch my neighbor replied, but we LIKE listening to the music! I almost died laughing.

    Anyway we have empty dishes to return filled with cookies, so we'll actually think to ask her her name. She apparently likes fiddle tunes on an exotic sounding instrument. On a hot evening last weekend I was playing on my porch and my dogs senced someone on the other side. I think I had an audience. Need to up my game.
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  3. #2
    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    This is at the heart of our nation; Embrace diversity. To do it with your mandolin, golden.
    Mike Snyder

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Amusing story

    And the food is divine, provided you like spicy and have a lot of yogurt and beer. The SF Bay area is a totally diverse community. This goes musically too. Really a special place. Unfortunately I didn't see the look on the other half's face that someone could actually like my playing. Musically she is a classical snob, Sinatra and the Beatles excepted.

    Thing is, people from all over bring their kids here, then they are horrified to find out they turn into American teenagers.
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  7. #4

    Default Re: Amusing story

    Goes to show that music is a univeral language. Great story.
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    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."
    -William Congreve
    Rise up with the new dawn's early morning
    Feel the sunshine warm upon your face
    Tomorrow's come a long, long way to help you
    Yes, it's your saving grace

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  11. #6
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    Loved your story, but it is a sad state of affairs in this country that a neighbor feared to knock on another neighbors door because of a difference in skin color. It would be a sad, colorless world indeed if there were no diversity. So glad to hear your story and it's happy ending.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  13. #7
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    Br1ck, Wonderful story! Thank you for sharing! As Don Julin might say, Mandolins (and other acoustic instruments/music) Heal The World!

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  15. #8

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    What a wonderful story...really brings a tear to my eye! It's not so hard to simply be a nice person and appreciate other folks....Thanks for posting!!

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
    (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice)
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    Great story, and - I hope - the beginning of a nice family friendship.

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    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Br1ck, the world needs more folk like you. Diversity rules! Imagine if all our mandolin music was in only one genre!
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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    Looking for the "like" button

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  25. #13
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    Great story!

    Unfortunately, when I play the mandolin in my backyard, it brings down neighborhood property values by 22% . . . .

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  27. #14
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    Great story. I have a similar one. Several actually. About 5 years ago, a new restaurant called Mediterraneo opened in our town. My wife had eaten there a couple of times and one evening ordered from the place for delivery. The order was taking a long time. I'm practicing my mandolin, kind of impatient and hungry. Finally a car arrives and a guy comes to our door. I answer, mandolin strapped on. We start talking music. It turns out that he's teaching and doing grad work at NIU, our university. He's a percussionist. He and his family have moved here from Damascus to flee the tragedy and danger there. We quickly became good friends with him and his family. He's wanted me to come and play with their Middle Eastern Ensemble, but I don't read music quickly and told him that their odd beats per measure completely intimidated me. But our friendship continues.
    So I asked him that evening, as it became clear that he was the owner of the restaurant- Why are you delivering the food? He said the guy that was supposed to do the delivering hadn't showed up for work and so he had to do it. And he told me that he had opened the restaurant because his family owns one in Syria and that he grew up in that business. And that he thought it would be a good way to help pay his college costs. (I said I thought that was a hard way to do that.)
    So some time passes and we've met a bunch of other folks here from Damascus. Wonderful people.
    One day, Omar (the restaurant owner/musician) calls me up and says he has a friend in town (moved here, actually) from Damascus that has an oud that needs some work done on it. Quickly. I'd only held an oud once; good ones are as light as an egg shell. I was hesitant but said to have his friend come over to my shop. I did some work on its fingerboard (a whole story in itself). After I'm done, the guy strings it back up and starts to play. He's unbelievably good. I asked "so what's the rush with the work?". He's going to be doing a concert at Rutgers in a couple days! I ask him just who he is. "You have computer?" Of course. So we go into my office and google him. Issam Rafea. He was head of the music department at university in Damascus. And leader of their orchestra! His family has also moved here to escape the war.
    Now- a little while later, he shows up at my shop again. This time he brings me an oud. To have, to take apart, to study. He and his musician friends have decided that I should build ouds. They can't buy decent ones in this country. I asked who in the world is going to buy an oud made by some white guy that grew up on a farm in the Midwest. He said- don't worry about that; the market is waiting and it's all connected. So I have what I think is the only available book in English on oud construction and another book on historical lute construction on my bedstand. Some day there may be a new page on my website: Ludewig Ouds.
    Life is full of surprises. And new friends. And music is a giant doorway.

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  29. #15

    Default Re: Amusing story

    Last year I went into a California State Prison (4000 inmates) to do a Mini-Documentary on a music program they have there. The one thing I came away with is how much our cultural differences can be overcome by music. Most ethnic backgrounds were represented and many were at the outer extremes (think swastika tattooed on the forehead). Yet here we all are in a room and everyone is getting along, joking around and having a good time together. Some of the performances were incredible. The highlight for me was an Ethnic Tribal War Song and Dance. I can honestly say that it was one of the most moving performances I have seen in my life. Topping what was to follow. A Country Music Hall of Fame member, dueting with an equally talented inmate, complete with backing band using various items for percussion and singing chorus.

    I interviewed quite a few of the guys and had some candid conversations. Outside of this room, these guys are not friends. Far from it! Many are from rival gangs. No nod in the hall or any sign that they share this experience.

    In the end, it was decided that no footage could be released. Showing these musicians playing together would put their lives in danger.

    The power of music!
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  31. #16
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    "Music is the universal language of mankind."
    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Rise up with the new dawn's early morning
    Feel the sunshine warm upon your face
    Tomorrow's come a long, long way to help you
    Yes, it's your saving grace

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  33. #17
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    Thanks for sharing that. So great she walked over, now you all are sharing customs, food, music and laughs.

    Wish I could start every day with a story like that.

    I had a taxi driver once who was from an eastern European country. He asked me if I like music. I said yes and he pulled out a large flute-like instrument, from his native country, and began to play, while driving. He was a great musician, and turns out highly educated in music and education.
    A-5's: Nugget/Collings, Newson

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  35. #18
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    Thanks for sharing this. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  36. #19
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    This has been one of the most encouraging and uplifting "strings" I've read in the forum. Thanking each of you for your contributions.

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  38. #20
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Hall View Post
    This has been one of the most encouraging and uplifting "strings" I've read in the forum. Thanking each of you for your contributions.
    +++1
    Rise up with the new dawn's early morning
    Feel the sunshine warm upon your face
    Tomorrow's come a long, long way to help you
    Yes, it's your saving grace

  39. #21
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    I love these stories. I don't have any defining moments to share. I'll just offer that playing mandolin in my yard is one of my simple pleasures! I love playing outside!

    Turns out folks hear me. Turns out they say kind words. In my mind; however, I'm just alone with my endless string of melodies taking in a bit of therapy.

    So, I'm all about pushing music out to the neighbors. Wish I'd just find somebody to claim they have a guitar and want to join the fun!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

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  41. #22

    Default Re: Amusing story

    Just an awesome story 👌

  42. #23

    Default Re: Amusing story

    I've got another one. My wife was executive director of a youth symphony, and she was taking the orchestra to Italy for some concerts. One of her Italian contacts invited her to the Italian club for a band concert that the club brought over from Italy.

    It was a brass band, six or seven piece, and I suffered through two hours of schlocky American Disney movie tunes, early twentieth century pop ( think Bicycle Built For Two), just anything that was American and was popular once. Finally the concert was over. I could tell they were good musicians and were dressed in Alpine clothing.

    So they announced they were going to play some of their mountain music for their own amusement but not to stick around if we didn't want to listen to it. Then they proceeded to blow the roof of the building with jaw dropping displays of umpa madness. Why oh why, I thought, did they think we wanted to hear American music when they were so good at theirs?

    [
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  44. #24
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    Music reminds us of our shared humanity despite many differences and it represents the last nuts keeping the tires on our global bus. Some call it God's language, others may disagree, but all seem to enjoy it. That's a good thing.

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  46. #25
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Amusing story

    YES!!! Great thoughts. They touch you in so many ways.

    Like... Hailu Mergia. Look here:


    Hailu Mergia is one of the most revered Ethiopian jazz musicians. If you check up on the Ethiopian history you will find a truckload of war and violence that necessitates people to take refuge in other countries. They take their music with them. Like this:



    or this:

    Blessed be those that care about the message of music.
    Olaf

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