Senin, 21 Juli 2008


I had a trip to Interlochen last weekend. Tommy and I left early Friday morning and came back yesterday. It's a special place full of little stone practice huts scattered in the woods, along with many cabins, fire rings, clotheslines, red socks, blue socks, and music...such great music floating around. We stayed in a small cabin which Interlochen lodging staffers had described as "rustic" and "musty." I suppose it was both, but it felt luxurious when it rained on Saturday afternoon. My friend Karin is teaching there this summer, and it was good to see her and sip coffee together in the morning by the lake. We heard the Interlochen Symphony Band and the World Youth Wind Symphony in a combined program which included Frank Ticheli's arrangement of Shenandoah and David Maslanka's Mother Earth. Those were probably the highlights of the concert for me. It's just so great to think of a whole group of kids learning Shenandoah and carrying that music inside them forever. Maslanka's music is wonderful and distinctive, and such a natural fit for Interlochen. We also saw the Golden Dragon Acrobats. As I watched them juggle tables with their feet, twist into previously unknown configurations, and leap, flip and fly, I drifted into a fuzzy place and wondered if I was watching eels or octopuses or a new Pixar animation film. They were amazing.

We drove a little out of the way on the way up so we could stop at Crystal Mountain and try the alpine slide. It's similar to a tobaggon run, but it's made out of molded platic, pieced together in sections. It was certainly fun, but a little too much like a theme park. There are two slides which twist down the slope side-by-side, about three feet apart, for 1,600 feet. The three feet between the tracks is filled with sick looking grass, which, guessing by the chemical odor which hung in the air, must be doused regularly with herbicide to keep the weeds down. On his last ride down, Tommy ran over a chipmunk. He admitted this with a mixture of embarrassment and disgust, hands shoved in his pockets. Someone else overheard him and said, "Oh! I hit it first!" She was screeching with laughter, and then her whole family was screeching with laughter, and I could only think of the blue-tongued mango vole in Carl Hiaasen's Native Tongue. The alpine slide would fit right in the Amazing Kingdom. I'm sure it is dismantled in the winter. Maybe somebody in Florida would like it. I think I like Crystal Mountain much better in January.

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