Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

Leonard Bernstein at the Bowl

It was more than twenty years ago.

My dear mother, Adele, was excited. We were at the Hollywood Bowl on a cool Los Angeles evening. Leonard Bernstein was giving a concert. The Bowl was nearly packed. People had brought wine and food for a night under the stars, and a few managed to twinkle through the dissipated haze.

The show began. Lots of applause. Adele and I were ready. We were sitting on a blanket high up on the hill. Then, instead of any familiar compositions, Bernstein confronted the audience with a variety of dissonant sounds. Popular scores from Westside Story would not play out this evening.

The audience was quiet for a spell. Then it began. A boo here, a boo there, until the boos nearly drowned out Bernstein, in tails, and his orchestra. Despite the apparent disapproval, Bernstein and company continued to grind out the score—as if the audience weren’t present.

Things were getting testy, and I’m sure hurling tomatoes were not far off.  The boos died down after a while, and talking filled the space over the Bowl. Some “be quiet” attempts did little for those who wanted to hear. Bernstein played out his concert to an audience that was rejecting his work without a morsel of the melodies he had made popular.

As we left the Bowl on the long trek to the car, my mother said what a beautiful evening. She was right.

Hi Eden,

Today I had lunch with a girlfriend in Ridgewood@ the Ddaily Ttreat. I was telling her something about my mother and she remarked that I was so lucky to have her because we have so much fun together.

I reaad your web log on the Bernstein concert and I know that Dorothy would say the same thing to me that Adele said to you.

My mother is my best vacation partner, because she enjoys herself wherever we go just because she is with me.

I am blessed to have her to share my life, but it really wasn’t until my “so called normal life” fell apart did I realize what happiness and joy I have when I spend time with my mother.

I found a book on grieving today while I was at a thrift shop in Pompton Lakes. There was a passage in the book that said :
                    ” The past still travels with us
                    and what it has been makes us
                    what we are.”
                      Rabbi Earl A. Grollman

No matter where you go, your wonderful memories of Adele will travel with you.
        Stay well
      Best wishes Susan

Posted by Susan Lettieri on 09/27 at 04:03 PM.

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