Friday, January 8, 2010

The Opera Singer

I was just walking across the parking lot towards our building when I was greeted with a pleasant, silly surprise. Seems the construction workers were having some sort of pickup truck stereo battle and the current winner was blasting opera. He was soon drowned out by R&B, but for a minute I was taken back to my bedroom in my childhood home and welcomed a memory I had all but forgotten.

Our house was on the corner of a somewhat major thoroughfare in our itty bitty town and there was a bus stop on the corner. I used to awaken to a man singing opera (beautifully, I might add) while he waited for the bus. I don't think I ever thought much of it -- that it was strange or that most of the world wasn't awakened in the same manner.

Years later, while in college, I worked for a mail order fabric company in town. I discovered one of my coworkers was the mother of a girl I went to high school with and she and her family lived two blocks up the street from my old house. Carlene and I got to talking one day and I found out her husband sang for the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. It was her husband who used to sing at the bus stop as he waited for his bus into the city!

We only lived in that house for the first ten years of my life. We then moved across the street and up five houses (putting our house along the walking route of the opera singer) and while I'd occasionally hear him sing a little as he walked by, I never got the full concerts I'd had while he waited for the bus...

I'm sure he and the opera house received plenty of adulation over the years. But I wonder how many of us in the neighborhood loved hearing him as well -- and how many of us were exposed to opera for the first time because of his free concerts down our street. I'm attending a sushi/opera night next month. I've been meaning to attend an opera forever but this will be my first. I hope I hear something that I learned as a child without even realizing it. Thank you, Ron Naldi, for bringing a little culture to Grandview Avenue!


Robert said...

Small world...Ron Naldi's brother & mother live 3 doors down from me. A good friend often talks about Christmas parties where Ron delites guests with his singing.

Robert said...

He delights his guests after deliting them as well.

AJ said...

Whew! I was prepared to overlook it because I love you, but it was causing me to twitch uncontrollably! ;)

And...that's great about our small world! :)

Robert said...

I forwarded your blog to my friend who sent me the following response:

"Hey Bert, Much thanks. Really enjoyed the blog, but not nearly as much as did Ron who just read it."

Just thought you might enjoy that.

AJ said...

That is just ridiculously awesome!! Thank you so much, Bert! Mwah! :)