a guy just never knows where life is gonna' take him. last monday eve I got a text from the dr. n. v telling me they were hosting two violinists for the ASO in from out of town for the week. he related that one of the two is a runner and asked if i'd be interested in running with him. so, i'm thinking, if they can put two total strangers up in their home for a week it wouldn't hurt my sorry ass to run with the guy for an hour or so. I answered his text asking if the guy would like to run at noon on tuesday from the flc at fbc, my usual time and place.
then my phone rang. it was dr. v saying "hey why don't you just talk to phil". so just like that, phil, who btw is a very young man-- at least when compared to my rapidly aging hulk, had agreed to run with me, a total stranger, the next day. dr. v is the hardest guy to say no to as phil quickly became aware.
and thus began one of the best weeks i've had in some time. phil, being young, male, accomplished and ever so confident introduced a breath of fresh air into the ennui that has become my life since retirement.
i took him to medi-park lake. he very graciously ran my pace, stopped to walk when my eeky-leaky heart demanded a rest and listened politely as I prated on. never having made acquaintance of a professional violinist, i had a gazillion questions which he patiently answered without once giving the impression that i am an idiot for asking. we laughed. the miles passed quickly and we agreed to meet again on Wednesday and again on Thursday for more of the same. we agreed to give his bleeding ears a break from me on Friday, but we made a date to run on saturday.
at this point i still had not met gus. that was to change when we went to dinner with the drs. v and gus before the symphony performance friday night. he too, like phil, patiently ignored my platitudes and answered my inane questions with grace. OU is lucky two have both these young but rising stars in their program.
i met chris rogerson, aso's composer in residence, at the after party on friday night. it was a short exchange but he impressed me too-- with his willingness to look a stranger in the eye, his firm handshake, with his humility as he accepted the many honorifics for his work and without appearing falsely modest.
the symphony has never sounded better to me. i'll tell you why. I've never known any of the ASO musicians, not even on a hi and a hand shake kind of level. oh, i met maestro bairos last season when the drs. v hosted a recital from a guest violinist but having a more personal connection in the form of these out-of-towners served to increase my interest and appreciation of the concert. this new investment served to amp up my enjoyment to the third power. that connection is key, i think.
as it happened, on saturday dr. v took phil, gus, chris and me to the palo duro canyon state park. it was a pleasure to show off the canyon to the three first timers. the rains this summer has the canyon looking its best. the time spent getting to and from the canyon, the time hiking over hill and dale and sitting around at the bagel place for lunch afterwards gave us all a chance to get even better acquainted.
it was a pleasure getting to know these young men, if just a little . i'll be able to say i knew them when. where life will take them remains to be seen but i can't wait until it brings us together again.