R.I.P Rue McClanahan

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As I was dragging my busking gear up the stairs to the subway station, a guy left his shopping cart by the bottom of the stairs and offered to help me carry my stuff up the stairs. He wasn’t even heading to the subway – he volunteered to go out of his way just to help me! As we reached the top of the stairs he said: “Oh, you’re the Saw Lady! I’ve seen you many times”. The noise of a passing train drowned out my profuse ‘thank you’s.

On the platform I found two pennies on the floor. I took it as a good omen for a nice day.

As I was busking at the 14th street subway station, the deaf-mute lady, who walks the trains and who is really a deaf-mute, waved ‘hello’ to me on her way down to the trains.

A guy wearing tight, flashy sequined pants planted himself in front of me, doing dance moves. He also made strange sounds – seemed like he couldn’t talk. I waited for him to leave but he kept motioning me to play. I had to pretend that I’m packing up to go to get him to leave.

Saw Lady by Rod Goodman
Photographer: © Rod Goodman (from his Buskers Project)

My i-pod (from which I play my back-up music) crashed and it took me a while to remember how to reboot it.

A couple sat on a bench and the lady video-taped me, without making any sign of recognition towards me, such as a smile or a nod, not to mention ask permission to film me or give me a tip. I stopped playing and waited for them to leave.

The day was pretty drab so far and I was waiting for a person to come by and cheer me up.
A guy with a bicycle stopped and said “I have to get my mother a picture of you”. He videotaped me playing ‘Tea for Two’ and I asked: “where is your mother?”
Man: “She’s in Sutton Place”.
Saw Lady: “Oh, so she’s in the city” (usually people take my picture for their friends who are far away)
Man: “She’s a performer, too”.
Saw Lady: “What does she do?”
Man: “She’s an actor. She had a TV show in the 90’s and now she’s on Broadway. Her name is Rue McClanahan. Have you heard of her?”
Saw Lady: “No…”
Man: “Remember the TV show ‘Golden Girls’? She was Blanche”.
My day was totally brightened up :)

Rue McClanahan

As I was playing I noticed a guy looking at the wall and ceiling sideways, in a wierd angle. I asked him what he was investigating. He said he was reading the words on the red frame on the wall. “What words?!” I said – I’ve seen these red frames for years and I never saw any words on them…
He showed me that deep in the crevice between the frame and the wall there are words! The words are printed backwards. The frame on the left of the Music Under New York busking spot says: “…unbroken except for such natural breaks as doorways”.
The red frame on the right of the busking spot says: “…of tile about seven feet high was laid throughout the station.”
This is so cool because it’s like a secret message. You won’t see it if you didn’t know where to look. Amazing.

Drummer Mike Alaska played at the Times Square subway station today but got stopped by the cops. He is now going to play on the ‘L’ platform. He recently played for a Madison Square Garden half time show and has another one coming up for the Knicks game.

Saw Lady playing at Madison Square Garden for a WNBA game

A guy told me that in his home country, the Philippines, people play the musical saw with a mallet.

Albert, the messenger, said he missed me. He is now wearing silver sun glasses and a Police Benevolent Fund badge.

My neighbor Debra gave me pretzels. I showed her the secret messages in the red frames.

Red Frames

P.S. This blog post is about my busking day that took place on September 4th, 2009. I just found out today that actor Rue McClanahan passed away earlier this month. R.I.P.


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One Response to R.I.P Rue McClanahan

  1. Desna on June 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    loved this blog, Natalia..beautiful picture of Rue – & finding the words inside the red frames was interesting! Sounds like you never have a dull day!

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