Fleur deKey Excerpt from Chapter 11: Riverfront: Promenading
Inspired by real life snippets from a Sunday stroll
Garbed all in black, sunglasses and a beatnik cap, a battered horn case sat open at his feet, seeded with tip money. His wiry grey hair and beard spoke of his age. He played another quick scale to keep the interest of the building crowd then paused to roll his long sleeves to his elbows. A grandmother pushed a baby stroller up to his bench, sat and talked with the old guy while he oiled the keys on his horn, waiting for more people to join the crowd. Finally he wet his whistle and raised the horn to his lip. Smiling at the grandmother, he played “Braham’s Lullaby”. The old man responded to the surprise applause with a dip of his head and shifted into a rousing, fun tune to keep the crowd’s interest.
Two benches farther, another street performer claimed his performance space along the walkway. His yellow painted grocery cart, decorated with Mardi Gras beads, ostrich feathers and a pink bra flying from a bamboo staff, also sported a multi-colored tire stretched around its frame as a bumper. The dark skinned, lanky boy arranged his instruments – a bongo drum, horn, Indian flute, maracas, tin can on the end of a stick – in and around his cart preparing to compete for attention and tips.