The Brunswick on a sunny summer afternoon is warm and friendly. The band gives up the mic occasionally and lets wanna-be’s have a moment in the sun. Once in a while, the band gets upstaged.
Anni Clark is a lady you’d pass in the aisle at the market and figure she was bringing dinner home for her family after putting in a hard day at the library. I spotted her on the patio this afternoon with a bunch of her friends having a good time listening to the Sons of the Beach pumping out some nice 70′s – 80′s covers to an enthusiastic end-of-weekend crowd.
Most folks were simply unwinding from the weekend. Preparing for the work week with one last dance or getting ready for the beginning of their vacation at the beach. Tommy had positioned himself atop the back of the bar to keep an eagle-eye on things. A group was poised under the awning to the side of the dance floor getting into the groove, when something odd caught my eye.
In a small set of legs, a single pair, moved hypnotically … imperceptibly as the others remained static. When the request came from the band for anyone who’d like to sing a tune, a hand shot up. The librarian wanted to sing.
“Great.” I thought. Here comes a Sinatra tribute. Perhaps “I Did It My Way?”
The lady in charcoal shorts, white sneakers and a modest sea-green cotton top skipped up to the stage, whispered to the bass guy and grabbed the mic. What happened next was humbling.
Anni Clark sang a rendition of B.B. King’s “Rock Me, Baby.”
There are times we embarrass ourselves and ought to admit it. Appearances deceive and the failure to acknowledge that can cause you to miss a lot.
The Brunswick is a gathering place for unlikely suspects. As Anni strutted her stuff, a wave of late-afternoon tourists flooded the patio dance floor. A couple who I’d have pegged for a reserved country-club type began to dance with a sensuality and style that made me jealous. Tommy beamed from his perch above the bar and the crowd went wild.
Thanks, Anni. I’m glad I met you. I’ll check out your website and come to see you play as soon as I can. You’ve reminded me of something that was read to me from a children’s book long ago:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. That which is essential is invisible to the eye.”
There are many lessons to be learned at the Brunswick. Stop by. Pay attention. Learn a few things about yourself and the wonderful stories that unfold here.