The Gift of Connection
When I lived in the DC area I worked at the world famous House of Musical Traditions. They were kind enough to give me a job to get started with my life in a new area having just arrived from Nashville. One fall day I happened to randomly choose to wear my University of Wyoming sweatshirt to work. That same day happened to be the day that Michael Booth visited the store, saw my shirt, and with a fine level of enthusiasm asked me if I'd been a student there. I hadn't been, but everyone from Wyoming sports the Brown and Gold just because it's the only University in the whole place and most everyone has at least one family member who attended.
Michael went on to tell me that he was from Laramie, and that his dad was a professor at UW. Unsurprisingly, we knew some people in common, and as I found was Michael's habit, he invited me to join he and some friends for a music party that night. For the uninitiated, a music party is a gathering of people who get together and sing songs and visit well into the wee hours. That night I was to meet several people who have become close friends; people who have added to my life's fabric of richness more than any other group. And it was all because I randomly wore my UW sweatshirt to work on the day that Michael came into the store.
|Michael, me, and Birgit Burke having a small music party in Cheyenne|
After meeting his dad those few times I suspect Michael comes by his connecting habit pretty honestly. Mark loved getting a group of people together to sing and visit, visit and sing. They both remind me a lot, in both spirit and stature, of Pete Seeger, who loved nothing more than connecting people through music. I'm lucky to have met all three, and especially lucky to count Michael among my friends.
|A Michael inspired music party at our old house in Maryland.|
|Me, Michael, and his son 2016|