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Lincoln's Birthday Singing

Next up on my list of Things That Make Pony Happy:

I get to go to the Lincoln's Birthday Singing at the U of C Folk Festival today. Whee! And it's not ten below outside, like it was last year, double whee! And Richard DeLong is giving a singing school, triple whee!

The Lincoln's Birthday Singing is always a special one for me, because it was the first Chicago singing I ever attended. I'd been in Chicago all of maybe two weeks in 2000, knew almost nobody, but I knew enough to call the HARP line (all together now: 773-276-HARP!) and it told me where there would be singing. And I knew that, if I could get to this mysterious Ida Noyes Hall way way down on the South Side, I would find the friends that I knew were waiting for me in this enormous city. So, armed with directions from the CTA, I moseyed down to Hyde Park, found the room with the singing in it, and signed up to lead in front of fifty people I'd never met. By the end of three hours, I'd made some friends, and been invited to the Thursday night Hyde Park singings, and decided that, hey, fun adventure that I could tell Dad Pony about.

It's now 2008. The people I met at that singing have become some of my dearest and closest friends, the ones that I worry about when I don't see them, and who throw caution to the wind to come and take care of me when I'm suddenly sick.

Every year, I go to this singing, which draws lots of curious newcomers because it's a workshop at a well-attended folk festival. Most of the newcomers won't come again, but one never knows. Maybe another new face will turn out to be someone seeking the community she knows is out there for her. The Lincoln's Birthday Singing is a time to say "welcome." It welcomed me, and I'm always glad to be part of the welcome for the next people who come along. And no pesky exploding internal organs are going to stop me!

Gotta go wash up now and get going. . .

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
dot_o_choillmor
Feb. 10th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, it's wonderful to have somewhere you know you can always go and find friendship, even in a strange city.

Have a fantastic time, FP. You certainly deserve it. But take it easy

frenchpony
Feb. 10th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
It does make the prospect of moving and traveling around the country that much nicer, to know that, if there's a singing community nearby, then there are friends for me wherever I bring my book.
jelazakazone
Feb. 10th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Yay! Have a great time:)
frenchpony
Feb. 10th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
I did! Richard DeLong is an awesome teacher, and he was in fine form today.
jelazakazone
Feb. 10th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Oh yay! We went to the family dance where Ron Buchanan was calling and it was great. It was such a tease for tonight's dance. I'm getting all excited for that:)
rhobike
Feb. 10th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
My cold is still pretty crummy, sorry I'm missing it.
frenchpony
Feb. 10th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
We're sorry not to see you there. Get better soon!
meggins
Feb. 11th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
I like the way this bit of Pony history wraps around: your going to the singing in 2000 as a newcomer and going now hoping to maybe welcome some newcomers in turn. Very nice.
frenchpony
Feb. 11th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Even better: The lady that I sat next to, completely randomly, my first time at the Lincoln singing ended up being the lady that Mom Pony called to come find me in the hospital and sit with me until Mom Pony could book a flight.

The Lincoln's Birthday Singing is never a big singing, but it's always kind of special to me.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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