A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Music for a Victorian Home

House concert for the lucky Mattunes ticketholders today; beaglesitting for me. Since last spring, neighbors Greg and Maggie Tucker have been hosting a series of concerts in their Victorian row house on Mattoon Street. Sometimes I attend, and sometimes I just keep Mr. Lucky and Miss Rose out of the vicinity of the music. They're not purebreds, but they have enough beagle in them to bay incessantly even if they're sequestered up on the third floor. With forty strangers in the house, music, and the smells of a gourmet luncheon wafting up the stairs, believe me, they'd bay.

This concert was a bit of a change from the norm: it was a Valentine's Day tea, held at two homes. Music was of the type which might have been heard in these homes when they were new--before TV and computers, when people in neighborhoods like ours frequently gathered together around a piano for entertainment. Goodies were served in both homes, and paintings from three area artists were on view.

Concertgoers began at Larry Picard's place just up the street from the Tuckers. Larry's got the lower two floors of a gracious row house. Paintings of Cynthia Picard, lovely and arresting botanicals, plus a few by Doug Fortin in a more surrealist style, could be viewed while enjoying tea and savories. Larry, who's the organist for South Congregational Church in Springfield, played the piano for this segment. Then the crowd moved to Maggie's for more tea and sweets and more music, this time Larry and Maggie playing two pianos/four hands. Maggie was showcasing paintings of Gina Beavers.

Gina Beavers is a local favorite; she used to live on Mattoon Street before defecting to what she calls "mini-Mattoon" in Holyoke. Most of her work is commissioned, and it's a rare house in this neighborhood which doesn't have one of her paintings in it somewhere. This one is Greg and Maggie's portrait, which usually hangs in their bedroom (can you say "romantic"?), but was rehung in the front parlor for this occasion. That's Gina herself seated to the right.

Next month's house concert is classical guitar and tapas. For that one, Taz can be in charge of babysitting the beagles. I don't want to miss it.

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