The Last Day of September

10:00 am  Sign in. It’s pouring rain outside. On arrival I’m met at the door by two of our members who immediately want me to join their rehearsal. I dump my wet jacket, strap on the nearest guitar and we launch into Summer of ‘69. One girl is playing the bass part that Dan helped her with. Her sister sings a guide vocal. I fumble out the chord changes. Soon Ben joins us on second guitar while Dan keeps the beat on a tambourine. The girls are anxious to add a keyboard player. But the teenager they need is currently involved in another activity, so they schedule another rehearsal for later.

10:30 am. A teenage boy is trying on different trench coats and a top hat. A teenage girl judges each look. Both of them are actors from last year’s  Danger Rescue Team 300 - a series of fifteen filmed adventures we produced at the Center.  Now the girl has gone on to write her own screenplay. She’s cast the boy in one of the leads. She hopes to go into production when the weather clears.

11:00 am. A wet sock game is going on outside in the turnaround. Two young barefoot blokes are dunking their socks in a mud puddle and flinging the soggy wads at each other amidst great hilarity. A little barefoot lass is merrily holding her umbrella upside down beneath a torrent of rain. She ladles the umbrella-water into her unused rubber footwear. "I’m making boot soup”.

11:30 am. I’m sitting around one of the long tables with the writer/director of The Ripping and several of the cast members. The director has cast all but one of her six main characters.  We are studying the script of her supernatural-horror-comedy and doing break-downs. We compile a list of props we still need. We study a list of the interior and exterior scenes and discuss locations. We run a few lines. I’m the DP - director of photography - on this one. The 20 minute movie will probably take about three weeks to shoot.

12:00 noon.  Unexpected entertainment. The bass player from Summer of ’69 and two of her friends - one is a brand new member - invite us into the classroom/music room for a spontaneous variety show. The bass player acts as emcee as well as a performer. We enjoy two songs played on mini-violin. Two more on piano plus a magic act, a broom dance and a grande finale. The show lasts about 10 minutes. The girls are rewarded with a big ovation from the crowd.

12:30 pm.  Lunch. I’m eating at one of the long tables with six or seven kids. The singer from Summer of ’69 has her eye on my Fig Newtons. Random talk about the ongoing ballet auditions for Margaret’s Nutcracker, the current Red Sox winning streak against the Yankees and some of our pets.

1:00 pm.  There is a Center meeting today. The first item on our agenda involves creating our own Minecraft server. I am immediately lost at sea but am impressed at how many other members - some of them brand new here - take part in the discussion of mods, PEs and a barge-load of techno-lingo that I 'm blissfully ignorant about. The next agenda item involves etiquette on the 4-Square court and the discussion is lively. Once again many of our younger members raise their hands to speak.  Even the newest members aren't shy about sharing their opinions.  A lot gets said by many voices and nobody hogs the meeting floor. 

2:00 pm. I’m back in the music room. Listening to a CD and picking out chord changes from a Courtney Love song. The director of The Ripping sits at the table charting out the changes as I call them out. Minutes later we grab a guitar and bass and play the completed tune along with the CD. Once my bandmate knows all the lyrics we'll bring the song up to the Art Shack -  where we currently have our drum kit, amp line and PA - and take it to the next step.

2:45 pm.  The bassist from Summer of ’69 enters the music room. She’s found her pianist now but her younger sister - our guide vocalist - is outside playing with her friends.  So the bassist takes over the vocals and she’s a real powerhouse. By the time we run the number through a few times it’s really sounding big. A feature song at our upcoming Dec. 5th Wintershow for sure.  We’ll be moving this band up to the Art Shack with drums and full PA next week.

3:15 pm.  Sign out. On my way to the car I give the Fig Newtons to the guide vocalist