This has been the Summer of Free Music: concerts in the parks, jazz and salsa in the local main drag, Seventies music on the street where I work. It’s a joyful way to end a summer day.
At the cover-band concerts featuring the music of Chicago, Springsteen and Wings, the audiences have been mostly Boomers and near-Boomers. That makes sense; this is the music of our youth. It’s life-affirming to be able to jump up and dance without judgement. There is laughter and singing and bonding over shared memories. Yesterday, one guy brought homemade, delicious brownies that were, well, brownies. The humor was not lost on me, though.
My neighborhood’s annual Jazz Thursday concert had a Salsa band that also played some Journey, some Lady Gaga and “Happy”. There was literally dancing in the street; people from children to grandparents found it impossible to sit still. This covered all ethnics too, since this is Queens.
Yes, grownups. Dancing. Singing. Publicly. At what point are we to stop doing the very things that make life worth living? When do we stop laughing? And who makes that decision? Like so many of us, I have been in the taxpaying, law-abiding workforce continually since I was a teenager. We have dealt with life’s challenges and disappointments. We have thrived and seen to it that our children do as well. I have earned the right to determine what entertains me. We will decide what age-appropriate behavior really is.
The rules have changed. We have to remain healthy and engaged enough to work longer than we had planned. That’s not all bad, if we remember to enjoy ourselves.
And that, folks, is my manifesto.