My First Harp Gig

October 6th, 2006, 9:27 pm

When my huband Mike and I moved to Oregon I had been playing harp for about three years. The only performing I had done was in the Mental Health Unit where I worked as a nurse in San Diego. After we had lived in Coos Bay for a few months, I got my first gig playing for a luncheon for the staff at an upscale senior retirement center in town. I was pretty nervous, it was my first chance to make a good impression in my new hometown.

About an hour before I needed to leave, I was upstairs chatting with my husband when the phone rang. He started racing down the spiral staircase to answer the phone while I’m calling out to him “you don’t need to go downstairs, we have a phone up here now.”To my horror I next heard a big crash. My harp had been placed near the bottom of the stairs ready to go out the door.Mike had spun around the corner too fast at the bottom of the stairs and knocked my harp over.To my greater horror I discovered that two of the legs of the harp had been broken off when it fell over. I was playing a cross-strung harp at the time that had long curved legs on the bottom. There was not enough time to repair the legs before leaving. I looked around frantically for a solution.While Mike unscrewed and removed the two broken legs,I discovered that the drawer for vegetables in the frig. was the right height to prop up the harp.

I arrived on time for my gig, all dressed up,with harp and refrigerator drawer in hand. I draped a cloth over the drawer and propped the harp up on it the best I could. I gripped the harp with my knees as hard as I could the whole time, as the harp wobbled precariously back and forth while I played.I was so relieved when my gig was over, having played decently well and without my harp crashing in the middle of my set.

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