postcard from CA :: 2
by pieces of moments
Wish you were here. The weather is perfect as (nearly) always as I sit outside at my old favorite, the Hotel Del Coronado, having lunch and pausing to stare out at the Pacific Ocean about 60 feet ahead of me. The Del has a very special place in my heart as it was the location of many a wonderful childhood memory for me when we would visit my grandparents who fled the bitter Nebraska winters for the milder Coronado winds for three months out of every year as long as I can remember. I had my first multi-course dinner here at the Crown Room with my grandparent’s regular waiter, Anthony, who I recall as the most completely affable person I knew at the time. I remember feeling so fancy when his assistant waiter, in one elegant swoop, took my napkin off the table unfolded it with a flip of his wrist and let it flutter in one big sheet down to cover my lap. Anthony and my grandparents got to be such good friends over the years that they exchanged Christmas cards. From here I also have a clear view of Point Loma and the old lighthouse where we purchased a really great childrens science book about the ocean that I remember devouring with curiosity once we were back in the snows of the Midwest.
It’s good to be back on Coronado.
The last couple of days I have been in San Diego at the Mark O’Connor String Conference listening to more music with more diversity than I have heard in a while. Two nights of four hour-long concerts. Three hours of live auditions. That’s a lot of music. But it was great music, and it was fun. It was also great to observe the young students in attendance having the time of their lives at music camp overlooking the ocean from a cliff (location, location, location). One of the more interesting characters at the camp was one of the instructors – improvisational cellist Rushad Eggleston. This guy is a trip and a half. His improve chops are first rate, though after listening to the CD he gave me and checking out his YouTube videos I was disappointed to hear that his masterful improvisations at the camp were vastly far and above what is displayed on his recordings and with his bands. He is inventive, however, and has the swagger of a rock star mixed with the smooth, uncluttered cool of a jazzer. His intense energy, cello hanging from his torso from a large strap, and his bow frayed at both ends with sprays of horsehair he didn’t bother to rip off cleanly, palpably adds that je ne sais quoi that all natural born performers possess.
Mark Wood was there with his Viper violin. I would like to put my hands on an electric violin sometime just to know what it feels like to play. And check out this one – it GLOWS.
Now back to the beach…