Getting off the couch

I had no idea ya’ll were so much fun!
When I rushed home after work on Friday, I didn’t feel much like going out again. At the end of the week, I’m usually ready to loaf.

But we’d been talking all week about Sam Mosley’s concert on the courthouse lawn, so Jenny and Joe were ready to go.
When the Gazette staff put together the new Explore magazine, touting all the attractions and famous people who have called New Albany home, we were surprised to learn that Mosley still lived here.
I had seen the Mississippi Blues Trail Marker on Cleveland Street in front of the Union County Heritage Museum honoring Mosley and Bob Johnson, but it wasn’t until the magazine came out that I knew someone as famous around the country as Mosley actually lived in town.
And here he was, the Friday night headliner of a free show as part of the first-ever Sam Mosley Blues Festival at the Freedom Celebration, sponsored by the Union County Development Association.
And the icing on the cake was the appearance of the Muscle Shoals Horns.
There are two reasons we were so interested in them:  My son Joe has played the trombone for the last six years; and for the last four, we lived in Florence, Ala., across the river from Muscle Shoals.
Joe was especially excited when the Horns were introduced. Harvey Thompson, who plays the alto sax, had performed with the Florence High Jazz Band the previous year, so Joe was up, giving him a standing ovation after every solo.
The show couldn’t have been better. We loved the way Mosley interacted with the audience, like he was talking to a group of friends from his front porch.
And a bunch of people behind us started doing the slide in the street, before moving it down in front of the stage. What a good time!
The only negative was the disappointing size of the crowd for a group of musicians who are among the country’s best.
Sometimes we take something or someone in our midst for granted until we move somewhere else.
We did that when we lived in Florence. At the Helen Keller birthplace across the river in Tuscumbia, the play, “The Miracle Worker,” is performed on an outdoor stage on Friday and Saturday nights during the summer.
 People come from all over the country to see it, but we’d stayed home. At least until Saturday night.
 And it took a nudge from Joe for it to happen this time.
You see, a friend of Joe’s got the part of Anne Sullivan, Helen’s teacher, in the play, and she invited him to come over and see it.
We liked it so much that we couldn’t figure out why we had never gone when we lived there.
So we’ve learned a lesson. In a few weeks, my daughter and her family will be here to visit for a few days.
Because they are big William Faulkner fans, we’ll check out the haunts of the area’s most famous writer.
There are so many riches here to discover. Let’s all get off the couch.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at publisher@newalbanygazette.com.
 

About Chris Elkins

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