On Saturday, Pop and I went to the social hall in his nursing home to hear an hour of accordion music. The musician turned out to be the still-friendly ex-husband of one of my mermaid friends, so that was a pleasant surprise. (For all its growth, Bellingham is still a small town.) There was a time in my life when I couldn't think of anything more boring than to sit in a roomful of elderly folks with blue hair and slack expressions on their faces, and listen to (gack!) accordion music. But this time, I didn't see that. I saw the kindness of a man who gave up a gorgeous, sunny afternoon to come inside and play for a roomful of shut-ins. I saw faces light up as the songs he played took them back to their dancing days and maybe memories of a first kiss or a treasured love. I saw them laugh and clap and sing along to "Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me," or "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do"; and I was moved nearly to tears.
And I wondered: when we baby boomers are in our 80's and 90's, will we gather together in the social hall of the Home for Aging Hippies and Cultural Revolutionaries, in our walkers and our wheelchairs, to listen to the visiting electric guitarist? And will we sing along to the dulcet strains of "I can't get no satisfaction" and "Everybody must get stoned!" Maybe capping it off with an encore of "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair . . ."
And we'll be 16 again, or 19, or 24, full of juice and ready again to take on the world.