She Probably Doesn’t Remember Me

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Making my way to my busking spot in the subway, as I was climbing up the subway station’s stairs, an elderly gentleman who was going DOWN the stairs volunteered to reverse his steps and help me carry my busking gear up the stairs. He must have been at least 70 years old. He then said to me: “I hope both you and I will have a Happy Thanksgiving”.
I was a bit puzzled, because the day this happened was December 4th…We’ve already HAD thanksgiving this year!
But he continued: “For next year. This means we’ll make it through another year! You are the first one I’m wishing this to”, he said.
This cheerful gentleman started my day with a smile!

‘Changes’/Scott Munson for musical saw and piano

A very tall African American gentleman and his friend stopped to say ‘how are you’. “She probably doesn’t remember me”, the tall one said to his friend. “Last time I saw you it was at 59th street”, he said to me.
I recognized him – he used to be the sanitation man at the 59th street subway station!
He told me that he is retired now. I asked him if he still does music and how his band is doing. I also asked him if his son still plays keyboards and he said that his son programs keyboards now.
I asked him if his sister still plays music on glasses. He said that he hasn’t seen his sister in a while, so he doesn’t know.
I was really happy to see him – I’ve wondered what happened to him as he disappeared from the 59th street subway station scene. He used to be a fixture there.

SawLady @ 34th st
Photographer: © Chuck Capriola

The homeless guy with a bad leg that I always see begging at the bank in Queens walked by. He told me that he is on his way to Queens. He lives in Brooklyn. He got a brand new cane which he jokingly said is also good for self defense. He told me that his son who has twin girls is living with his fiancé. They will get married next year. His two little granddaughters drive him crazy, but he loves them. His soon to be mother-in-law does drugs, and he doesn’t like that. He’s been to jail himself, but now he has two lawyers that keep him out of trouble.

Saw Lady at 34th st
Photographer: © Nicholas Loomis

A lady from Korea told me that she has seen the musical saw in Korea. The Korean word for ‘saw’ is ‘top’, she said.


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3 Responses to She Probably Doesn’t Remember Me

  1. Terrence on August 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    So honored you read my blog post!
    I’ve been covertly following your blog and tips for some time now (when I took it into my head to start busking) and I can’t express how absolutely honored and giddy I am you commented on mine! You just made my day :).

    Cheers and hope to see you when I cruise back through New York in a few months.


  2. Mark Weiss on November 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Hi. I found your blog because I posted about the San Francisco busker Emily Palen on my rather new blog, Plastic Alto. Someone named Michelle who I presume reads your blog became the very first commentator (besides my girlfriend, and my best friend) on my new site to direct me to your site. I am meaning to trackdown the link to the recent article (I clipped) from SF Chronicle about another SF busker. Also, maybe I will get around to doing a transcript of my interview with jazz musician Charlie Hunter about the value of busking in his development as a performing artist, and post that. I may also someday post my heated email exchange with the founder of a music event in Palo Alto (based on Fete De La Musique) about how the event should honor the relationship between busking and the First Amendment, Democracy in general.
    Saw on!
    I hope this is not too much information nor too self-serving. Feel free to edit as appropriate.

    • The Saw Lady on November 16, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you for your comment.
      What I find most interesting in what you said is your feelings towards the SF Fete De La Musique type event. I would be very interested to read your future post about this. It annoys me that cities make such a big deal about how great it is to have free music in the streets on one day of the year, but harass buskers on every other day of the year (or restrict busking with auditions and fees).

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by Scott R Munson