I’ve been playing my saxophone on the Trail for eight wonderful years, usually on a Sunday afternoon…and always where the Trail goes under the IH-35 bridge! The bridge does all the heavy-lifting….adding a resonance and echo and mystery to it all. The bridge makes me sound better than I really am…someone once said, “How silent the woods would be if only the best birds sang!” So I turn up with my beat-up saxophone and YouTube-taught-skills and let the bridge work its magic on my sound.
I’m as much there for the conversations as for the music! If you’re holding a saxophone, you can just start talking to total strangers…but without a saxophone, well, you can imagine! There are people from all over the world on the trail….one woman from France was using her phone to live-stream me to her father in Paris…I use that as proof of my having international acclaim!
One afternoon, a burly jogger ran past me and suddenly stopped and turned and glared and angrily yelled a single word in my direction as I played. I watched him warily as I continued to play and he continued to yell this word that I couldn’t quite make out. Finally I recognized the word …..it was the name of his dog…..who was afraid of my saxophone and wouldn’t run past me. I tell this story to various tour groups on the Trail and at the end I always say that the moral of this story, especially for us men, is that sometimes in life it’s NOT all about us! The women usually nod knowingly…and the men usually look puzzled : )
There is a magic on the Trail and under that IH-35 bridge….we only have to take a walk, or a run, or a bike ride to find it!
Joe Farley, Retired Austin Public School Teacher and approaching 80 years old : )