Friday, 25 April 2008
I Wanna Be Like You Hoo Hoo
Do you remember that song from Jungle Book sung by Louis Armstrong when the king of the monkeys tries to persuade Mowgli to tell him about fire? That is the sort of music we were enjoying over a picnic lunch on Friday at Harrogate Spring Show. Normally I'd have been reporting another example of Crofty's sad decline into his dotage; and you could be forgiven for thinking it, had you seen the scene: not a non-grey hair in sight, baskets and trolleys filled with all manner of horticultural miracles and a host of polite mature gardeners gathered around the bandstand to listen to the Yorkshire Post Trad Jazz Band.
And they themselves - the band - looked as though they might be part of some sort of leisure class put on to fill the time until death for the residents of Happy Valley Residential Home.
But it wasn't like that.
These grey haired over sixties couldn't half play: rythmn pulsed through them, setting many creaky hips jigging, flasks tapping and sandwich wrappers rustling as the crowd swayed and tried to resist the temptation to dance: well it wouldn't be polite.
The contrast between age and energy was even starker when the fabulous double bass player ceased his finger gymnastics for a break and sat down by us. He was suddenly transformed from a stunning musician into just another old man whose daughter fussed around him with his luncheon meat sandwiches, making sure he took his tablets and ensuring he was warm enough: coat buttoned up tight.
I wanna be like him....and I wish other people could have seen him before and after too, just so they think twice next time they make assumptions about the next old man or woman they see.