As I introduce this wonderful short story by John Ratliff, I simply hope and pray that everyone in our extended Memory Matters family is safe and taking the necessary steps to remain so with Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas.

All days at Memory Matters are special, but yesterday was somehow electric, and so energized that it caused us all to wear the broadest smiles all day. Tuesday’s Compass program had been cancelled and many of the Tuesday participants joined the Wednesday group. The same was true for us volunteers. My friend Bob Engle and I joined the party bringing our Tuesday news, jokes, stories and music. We didn’t want to waste them! We were joined by the regular Wednesday crew of volunteers including  Pat, Chrissie, Paul, Jane, Roy and the ever present and remarkable Lindy. It was a truly vibrant and fun day that will live long in our memories. Yes, a moment to value that became a memory to our friends.

JW proudly (and rightfully so) describes  his daughter’s performance of a Veracini violin sonata as ”mesmerizing.” It was inspiring and gave us “goose bumps.” Amélie has just been awarded the accolade of Concert Master of the Savannah Youth Orchestra, and we are truly blessed that she and her Dad volunteer at Memory Matters.

Take care and stay safe……Volunteer Mike

I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
The love that’s all around me
And so the feeling grows
It’s written on the wind
It’s everywhere I go
So if you really love me
Come on and let it show
You know I love you, I always will
My mind’s made up by the way that I feel
There’s no beginning, there’ll be no end
‘Cause on my love you can depend………..
The Troggs

Hurricane Party 

Due to the governor’s evacuation, which was reversed after only one day, the audience was doubled in size. A festive magic energy crackled in the air. It felt like Christmas! Volunteer Mike serenaded them with a wonderful rendition of a Troggs’ number while we unpacked our instruments. Then the one and only Pat Cleary, with his irresistible, absolutely contagious positive spirit and rapier sense of humor, led them through morning exercises. As we joined in I scanned the room, recognizing so many familiar faces. They were all happily engaged, following Pat’s lead. Richard the Lionhearted, who fought bravely in World War II and met General Patton; Pat the animal lover, wearing a beautiful shirt with a kitten pocket; Handsome Ellis, who reminds me of Fred Astaire; Ed “The Godfather,” with his piercing blue eyes, barrel chest — a formidable combination of Marlin Brando and Charles Bronson.

Little Anna Gray with her adorable rosy cheeks; Smiling Lou, who always makes me smile when our eyes meet… And many, many more we had never met before.

When it came time for us to play, I introduced Amélie, who opened our set with a solo classical piece on violin. Her performance was mesmerizing. You could hear a pin drop, and when she finished the room exploded with applause. They gave her a standing ovation. As Amélie and I played our music for them, I kept thinking about how very fortunate we were to be a small part of such a wonderful community. “Where would all these people go if this place did not exist?” The good work they all do there is so important and makes such a difference in the lives the participants that I simply cannot imagine a world without Memory Matters.

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