For et bilde! Jeg begynner jo å bli en gammel grinepingle. Det sier ihvertfall min kone stort sett hver lørdag når jeg har fått hånd på min favorittlektyre, "Family"-seksjonen i den glitrende lørdagsutgaven av Verdens Suverent Beste Avis, The Guardian. Jeg ender nesten alltid med å grine av en av de fantastisk gode historiene de alltid har å fortelle, innen alle lag og genre og vinklinger. Så også her for noen uker siden. Da gjaldt det mest musikk. I den faste spalten "Family Life", hvor leserne får sende inn små snapshots og minner fra eget liv, fortalte Josephine Roberts om sin vakre far, den skitne skrapsveiseren som tilfeldigvis en sommer endte med å elske valse-Strauss. Vakkert om savn og musikkens kraftige hverdagsstyrke! Og så fint at jeg gjerne vil dele med dere.
Du finner hele historien på nett her, hvis du foretrekker å lese det der. Jeg har uansett trukket den ut hit. Cue fioliner:
Playlist: My father, the waltzing welder
The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss
I was a self-conscious teenage girl, and my late father had what was, at the time, slightly embarrassing long black messy hair and a big wild-looking beard. Usually he wore a battered old cowboy hat as well. He worked in a scrapyard; always making or mending something and he often brought cars home to "do up".
He spent much of this particular summer welding a car in our front yard. We had tools and big gas cylinders with rubber pipes strewn all over the place, and when he didn't have the cowboy hat on, my father would have green tinted welding goggles resting up ready on his hairline, even at dinner time.
At some time during his work, he had found an unwanted eight-track tape recorder in a scrap car and had brought it home. There was one tape with it – The Waltzes of Johann Strauss – and that was really as close to classical music as we ever got. The player was set up in his workshop next to the house, attached to an old car battery with crocodile clips. In order to hear it while he was welding, he cranked it up to full volume, so that the yard and the house with its always-open door, would fill with the rhythm of the Viennese waltzes.
As he went back and forth from the workshop to the dismantled car, my father would pirouette around the yard in time to the music, dancing with whatever he happened to have in his oily mechanic's hands: a jemmy, a chair or perhaps the wing of a car.
There was something about the sight of someone who looked like a cross between a Hell's Angel and Wild Bill Hickok, waltzing around daintily with pieces of rusty iron in his hands and grinning wildly, that brought out a smile on the face of even the most sour-faced teenage girl. How I miss him now. Josephine Roberts