Mom is upstaging her kids, and loving it. You can see it in her eyes and hear it in her music. Here’s what happened:
Simeon the Crimefighting Novelist invited me out last night to see a good friend of his, Californian Cindy Lee Berryhill perform at Jammin’ Java here in Northern Virginia. What a treat! Cindy Lee on guitar and vocals performed her very cool original stuff (reminded me musically but not lyrically of Aztec Camera but I confess to know nothing about music), and she fronted the talented Renata on cello and this other woman – with joyful eyes – on percussion and xylophone.
This woman with the eyes, Cindy told us between songs, is Paula. In “real life” she’s Cindy’s good friend – and a doctor, with patients and a practice. She juggled appointments so she could take to the road this week, leaving So-Cal behind to play little clubs up and down the eastern seaboard. “I’ve known her for twenty-five years,” Cindy Lee told her audience, “but I never knew until recently she could do this.”
“Neither did I,” laughed the good doctor, clearly enjoying the situation she’d gotten herself into.
After the band’s set, I had the privilege of sitting with Paula as a group of us watched the headline act (Blame Sally, also a treat). “I just started playing the drums 2 ½ years ago!” she said. “Later this summer I’ll go with Cindy up to San Francisco where my kids are in college and they’ll get to see me perform… my son (I think she said her son) is a serious music student, and now all my kids want to know what’s up with mom getting all the gigs!”
For the last 32 years I’ve been a corporate guy. Despite the gift of some time off this year, chances are I’ll rejoin that life relatively soon. But Paula showed me that some time before my days on this Earth are complete, I could have an awesomely-fun road trip (book tour? speaking engagement?) or two ahead of me, too. Getting paid handsomely would be fine with me. But if I just get to laugh and hear some applause like Paula is doing this week? That’ll work.