Current read: "A Bess Streeter Aldrich Treasury" by B.S.A./1933
Best song randomly heard on the radio: "Waiting in Vain" by Bob Marley/1977
Before I perished from lack of musical experience, I convinced my guest to accompany me out for music.
We brought cheese, wine and chairs to Roanoke Island for an outdoor concert at Festival Park. The North Carolina Symphony was doing a program entitled "Pirates!" and I figured why the hell not?
On arrival, it was obvious that we were two of hundreds who had reached that same conclusion. Despite a forecast of possible thunderstorms, the grounds were packed with music lovers.
I love the stage at Festival Park because the backdrop is glass, so throughout a performance, the audience can see the Sound as well as any boats or lights on it. Tres scenic.
We spread out our grapes and glasses and enjoyed our repast while taking note of the crowd passing us by. Vacationers and locals of all shapes and ages moseyed by as we munched and drank.
Conductor William Henry Curry brought his sense of humor with him for the show, periodically introducing bad jokes as preludes to music.
Where do pirates eat breakfast? I-Hop.
The musical program covered a wide swath of pirate-related music, including "Pirates of Penzance," "The Flying Dutchman," "Captain Blood" and "Peter Pan."
Since I hadn't seen the movies, I had no familiarity with "Pirates of the Caribbean" or "Hook" although they seemed to be crowd pleasers. There was even a singalong sea chantey.
What struck me most was that this was my first time hearing a full symphony play outside. The usually enormous sound dissipated in the warm and humid night air in a way it never could within the hard walls of a concert hall.
In the parlance of someone with no musical vocabulary, it was the softest sounds I've ever heard from a symphony and I'm not talking about volume.
The funniest joke of the evening had to be explained to some in the audience, but we laughed out loud.
How do pirates know they exist?
They think, therefore they argh.
Yea, yea, but do you know any better pirate jokes?
After an intermission walk down to the Sound and an evening under the windblown clouds, we pointed the car back to the ocean in search of an outdoor nightcap.
Rundown Cafe, barely a quarter mile from the cottage, provided the Herrudura and Red Stripe/Blue Moon we required to sit on the outside bar deck and discuss the kind of distractions that make a person forget her beach umbrella and binoculars.
I think, therefore I know the importance of capturing the long view.