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Sophie/Grammy Day


Sophie on the upper deck of the Staten Island Ferry. The boat is a Coast Guard vessel, one of two that escorted the SIF back and forth. A machine gun is mounted in the bow manned by a member of the Coast Guard. I’m posting this because, for me, it’s a disconcerting image–the 4 year old . . . . machine gun (“What’s that, Grammie?” she innocently asked.) . . . the Statue of Liberty. What do you think? Before boarding the ferry we had visited the marvelous National Museum of American Indians & seen a moving performance piece, “Keeping the Fire in the Dark Moon Times,” infused with the oral tradition, dance and music of the home regions of five performers–Ani Lokomaikai Lipscomb, Hawaiian; Debra Dommek, Inupiaq; Stephen Blanchett, Central Yup’ik; Candida Rose, Cape Verdean; and Jonathan Perry, Wampanoag. According to the program, the piece honors ancestral stories and the diverse symbolism of the moon, its cycles and the many meanings of harvest. We ended our Sophie/Grammie-Day by attending New York Philharmonic’s rehearsal for the “Very Young People’s Concert.” Very cool, although Sophie noted that the narrator of a kids’ story told to the music of Ravel mispronounced narwhal (she put an “e” on the end.) “That’s what rehearsal are for,” I whispered back. We had to leave before the storyteller finished. But we talked to a staff person before we left. “I wondered about that,” she said. Then repeated (correctly): “Narwhal, narwhal, narwhal!” Sophie and I smiled!

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