Last night Travalon picked me up from work, and we battled the terrible traffic to get out of town. A water main had broken under Johnson Street, which is a major thoroughfare, so everyone was taking alternate routes that coincided with the way we were going. Finally we got on the highway and drove to Oconomowoc to go to an outdoor concert with his mother. I have mentioned these concerts before on this blog. They are in the band shell by the beach, which is a beautiful location. It seemed like a really wonderful way to spend the longest evening of the year, sitting outside and watching the sun set while listening to live music. The program was “Postcards from ….” They would read actual postcards that I believe were written by band members (it was a large Legionnaires brass band with a color guard) and then play a piece of music associated with that place. For example, they played “Hungarian Dance #5” by Brahms after reading a postcard from someone visiting Hungary. Once we brought my mother-in-law home, she found out I had my mandolin along with me because of my gig, and she asked if I could play “Hungarian Dance #5,” so I did a passable job at it. Then Travalon asked me to play the rebetiko song I had learned on the “bouzouki,” and that was a little confusing because of the difference in fingering, but I also figured out how to play it on the mandolin. So far my instrument adventure is going fairly well (I am trying to learn a Landini piece, “Ecco la Primavera,” on the rebec), except for the otamatone. If I ever learn to play that thing, it will be a minor miracle.