As I made my way through one of the pews at Church of the Gesu on the John Carroll campus after the Western Reserve Chorale performance and passing a sound engineer in the next aisle as he was putting pieces of equipment into bags and winding up cords of wire, asked me how I liked the performance and I said it was like hearing the music at the beginning of an epic movie, which is how it struck me. He liked that and then asked if I was able to hear the “boy-soprano” well enough, if he was loud enough. “ Loud, yes, he was loud. Not too musical, but loud” was my frank opinion. If he was amused, he didn’t chuckle, nor did he frown at that news. When someone hits a flat note, the more masterful musicians just stay calm and the program keeps moving along.
Ramona was on her way to her car on the other side of the Church. That lot was completely filled by the time I arrived, after a slight detour en route as often happens when I have not been there for a long time. I think it had been about three years ago the last time we attended one of this church’s January-April monthly concerts. Since I was parked on the opposite side of the church and at the far end of the lot, it took some time for me to hobble through the church to the lobby where she had been waiting for me and we got back inside and up to an empty pew about five minutes before the program started.
About five minutes after the program began, a very large woman hauled herself over Ramona’s legs, then mine, to situate herself at the end of the short pew. She then coughed and hacked through the first quarter of the performance, during which time I kept returning my gaze to the large crucifix suspended from the ceiling, reminding myself not to focus on negative irritated thoughts. I remembered one time when at Trinity Cathedral downtown during a Jeanette Sorrell Apollo’s Fire performance I attended with Judy Sherburne when the too warm dry air in the tightly packed audience brought on a coughing fit of my own and how I, overcome with embarrassment, bent low and climbed across the rest of the row of seated attendees to escape to a hallway out of earshot and got control of my breathing again before returning to my seat. Sometime before the intermission the large lady ducked out from her end of the pew. While we were standing in line at the ladies room Ramona decided to rant about people who are so difficult and their “it’s all about me” attitude. As that woman emerged from the ladies room I turned to my friend saying, “Here she is, so stop.”
After the concert Ramona and I headed over to our usual haunt on the campus, Pizzazz. A very busy little restaurant it was now full of folks who attended as well as those who participated in the program at Gesu so we were lucky to get a booth without waiting. A larger party left when they were told they would have an hour’s wait. Sometimes fewer is better. We each ordered the house salad which is really good and large enough to be dinner. I brought a small box home which will go on top of a salad of my own making the next day.