Wednesday, May 24, 2017

burning my salem witches

Nostalgia is not what it used to be. But it never was.

Today I am in Salem -- my old hometown. My only planned event is the Joshua Bell concert tonight. And that almost didn't happen.

I decided to walk around Salem and see what was new and what was just the same. Mostly, it was just the same. But it was a great day for adding 12 more miles to my walking regimen. Sunny. Pleasant temperatures. And a town in springtime blossom.

Because I ordered my concert tickets on line, I needed to stop by the theater to pick them up. The Elsinore is 90 years old and has seen service as a vaudeville venue, a movie house (I first saw Star Wars there), and a concert hall -- John Philip Sousa himself appeared here. It is now primarily the spot where Salemites come to hear live music.

For a moment this morning, I thought I was not going to be amongst them. When I gave the box office my name, they could not find anything. The very helpful woman looked in several spots, but my request was a stranger to her and her computer.

With my electronic receipt, help from a theater staff member, and a lot of preternatural patience on my part, I finally had my two tickets in hand.

I had hoped to have lunch with a friend or two. But one was heading to the optometrist. Another was winging her way back from New Orleans. Instead of striking out again, I walked through one of the neighborhoods where I had once considered buying a home.

I liked the neighborhood because it is nestled in a small forest inside the city boundaries. And it has character. As you can see.

But the house I looked at was rather plain in relation to some of the surrounding properties. I am not certain, but I think this may have been it. A pleasant place, but with the character of vanilla frozen yogurt.

My realtor called it an "executive" residence. I called it something I would not buy. But I did like the forest.

Because I started this day at 4:45 AM, I took a quick 20-minute nap to rest up for the concert tonight. Most of the music on offer will not be challenging enough to keep me alert without that nap. I am now ready to go.

In walking through town, I recalled a lot of good memories. But Salem has very little to offer in the way of adventure. And I have enough memories.

It is about time to return to Mexico -- but not before I hear Joshua Bell. And do whatever it is I am going to do on Thursday and Friday before I fly out of Portland on Saturday.

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