A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude.
Another computer man moves away. She does the second verse.
Well the first thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire,
Kinfolk said Jed move away from there
Said Californy is the place you ought to be
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.
When Jed’s story has been told three or four times, she goes on to Edelweiss, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic sung by Christopher Plummer in The Sound of Music, and it amazes me. We all know the tune but how many know the words? I don’t, but she does, and she repeats the last line, Bless my homeland forever, with such heartfelt emotions that the middle-aged women two tables away get dewy-eyed.
And then she’s done. She stands, smiles in my direction. I smile back. She gathers her belongings and trundles away, plastic garbage bags brushing against her skinny legs and I hope the concert will continue at another venue. But the truth is the woman has discovered the secret to invisibility. She has not disturbed anyone seriously enough to warrant an intervention by the authorities but her actions are sufficiently odd as to make her existence to others tenuous at best. I’m not sure whether this is a gift or a curse, but it is certainly worth a song.