Early morning – decorate the trailer with an Irish theme. At 10° F. this is no one’s favorite job. Six rolls of green painters’ tape were all we had to work with, our artistic talents were not elevated to start with, and they deteriorated rapidly in the cold. Patrick and Heath agreed on one thing – it was more fun on the sunny side.
11:00 am – move the trailer for the first time in four months, pull it to space #49 in the downtown Cedar Rapids staging area. Hmm … there seems to be some disorder in the line-up, possibly fomented by fermented beverages.
11:30 am – drive Jules’ Mini (don’t try this at home) to the local VFW for a chili cook-off Jonas has turned me on to, sponsored by Women Warriors Undefined. Fruitful conversations, check them out.
12:59 pm – got the Mini back into its rightful parking spot close to the parade route, by flashing a big smile at the patrolman whose job it was to make sure I didn’t.
1:30 pm – 31 freezing minutes later it’s our turn to move. Everyone is pretending not to be cold. Crowd is below ordinary St Patrick’s Day expectations, but big enough to keep me busy shaking hands, bumping fists and saying ‘thanks for coming out today!’
2:30 pm – post-parade group shows up at my house looking for warm beverages, all I have is tepid beer. Jonas’ chili moves indoors and saves the day.
5:45 pm – my private driver Deb drops me off at a Libertarian get-together at Heath’s house, where I award a Lifetime Membership pin to Mark and give a short rally the troops speech.
6:45 pm – Deb picks me up and we head to the symphony together, arrive in time to enjoy half a glass of Iowa Cabernet Sauvignon before taking our seats.
7:30 pm – Orchestra Iowa performs Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, my first encounter with that fantastic symphony. Wikipedia sez American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein described it as the first musical expedition into psychedelia because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature, and because history suggests Berlioz composed at least a portion of it under the influence of opium. According to Bernstein, “Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral.”
N.B. Next Orchestra Iowa performance is April 2nd at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, April 3rd in Coralville. The Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 is one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical piano repertoire, be ready for a derecho of white and black keys.