Friday, June 6, 2008

The Fascinating Middle of Point A & Point B

Due in part to his genetic makeup, and due in part to the years and years of necessary time management, The Baron is VERY aware of time.

Of both its flexibility and of its restraints. To him, it is an encapsulation, with definite boundaries.

The Baroness, on the other hand, finds time to be somewhat fluid. It comes, it goes. Sure, there are times when arrivals or departures are non-negotiable. But, for the most part, an extra minute here, a few less minutes there - it all balances out in the end.

Every so often, when the planets align just so, there is an event which both Mr. & Mrs. von B must attend. And every so often, their two time philosophies, er, clash. Badly.

Case in point. This last weekend. The vonBloggenschtern clan were on their way to a Seattle Mariners baseball game.

There is a gauntlet of vendors that one must run, in between the parking lot and the stadium. Hot dogs, corn dogs, team clothing, young girls selling chocolate bars for their church youth groups, dogs in sunglasses.

Now, on any other given day, the Baron would be delighted to stroll. To lollygag. To meander. But not this day. This was one of those time constraints we discussed earlier. As any dyed-in-the-wool baseball oficianado knows, one must be there at the scheduled start of the game.

I know this, too. I also know how important this factum is to the Baron.



Right smack dab in the middle of the promenade we were speed-walking through, was a middle-aged gentleman sitting on a chair.

It took a few seconds to process, after passing him like a hurricane, but it dawned on me that he was not only sitting there - he was playing an accordian.

An accordian, people. And we all know how the Baroness feels about all things polka.

So began the rending of the time philosophies. For I refused to breeze past this opportunity. I had to say something. I had to donate some of this strange monopoly money (have you Americans never heard of color?) into his accordian case. I had to tell him how wonderful he was, and how great it was that he was here, playing such cheery music to pipe us in to the game.

This action, I must tell you, was not a popular one. The rest of the clan, sensing they were suddenly a member short, stopped dead in their tracks. I got the laser-death ray-glare.

"But it's an accordian, honey!!!" I pleaded. "An ACCORDIAN!!".

He understood. So he stopped.

And then, I started to talk to this fine fellow - Mr. Greg Blackstock.

He did not understand anymore.

But at this point, I did not care. Time became fluid again, and I knew that the few moments that I took to connect with this gentleman would be well worth it, and could be made up for later. All would balance out.

Greg shook my hand, and asked for my name. I told him. "Hello, Baroness", said he. The companion he was with said gently to him, "Greg - when you meet someone and ask for their name, you should give them your name, too". It now was apparent that while was Greg an amazing accordianist, he was also struggling a little with his social cues. His companion was there to smooth out the rough edges a little.

It turns out that Greg Blackstock is an autistic savant. He was born in Seattle, and has quite a remarkable history. Not only is he a musician, he is an artist as well, and is represented by The Garde Rail Gallery ( On his business card, he categorizes himself as an "Outside Artist" and Street Accordianist.

But he is so much more than that. And on that cloudy Saturday when time seemed to be of the essence, I'm so very glad that I broke the constraints. Just for a moment.

It will always balance out in the end.


Memaw's memories said...

How absolutely wonderful that you took the time to speak with this man. You truly stopped and smelled the roses.

I don't follow much baseball, did your Mariners win?

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Memaw: Why yes, they did. They kicked some serious butt. ;)

H. said...

Oh I LOVE this story! It reminds me of the 85 year old man who serenaded the mall crowd with free recitals at the Organ shop (yes, there are organ shops in malls. Who knew?) Sweet as pie.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess H: Ooh, we have those sometimes too. The gift of music, on some unconventional instrument - it's a beautiful thing.

Formerly Fun said...

Although I now preside over a beachy area of Southern California, I hail from the great state of Wisconsin where because of the heavy inflfux from central Europe, Polka has a long standing tradition and holds a certain fondness for many of us. My grandfather was Slovenian and taught me to polka when I was about 4. When I was younger, it would have been unusual not to have at least one polka and the chicken dance at a wedding.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess FF: I love, love, LOVE the Chicken Dance. A cultural icon if ever there was one. My love of accordian history starts with 2 of my childhood neighbors breakin' them out in the summer as everyone sat on their porches having some cocktails.
Such good times. And happy music.

Lisa said...

That's a great story!!! I love accordion music ... thought I was the only one. It's so happy. Good for you for stopping!! ... Babs

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Babs: We are two peas of a peapod, non? Who, in their right mind, could not appreciatiate the showmanship, the dexterity, the virtuosity of the accordian? You and I, my blend, are part of a grassroots movement...

Not Afraid To Use It said...

What a wonderful story. Hubbie and I get around issues like that by each of us having our own ticket in our own grubby hands. That way "I'll meet you at the seats" is a great way to deflect any ill effects from time issues. LOL Glad you stuck to your guns, hon. Sounds like it was worth the stop.

Oh, and I TOTALLY agree about the American money thing. I mean, how stupid are we?

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess NATUI: Hmm. "I'll meet you at the seats"...I'm liking the sound of that. Thank you for that.

As for the money, I'm getting tired of exciting wait staff at restaurants for tipping them a $20 instead of the intended $1. New President, for the love of God - forget health care - do something about the cash, already.

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