Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

I am a shameless, bragging grandma, and I am doing OK.


 At the end of summer, my family and some friends went to St. Peter's Village, a 19th century industrial /mining "company" town, where, in many ways, time has stood still. It is a lovely walk-about place that has some great trails and woods to explore.   French Creek, a lovely meandering waterway that borders it, bubbles over the massive granite boulders and is the town's main tourist attraction.  In the summer,  young, coming-of-age boys travel here to prove their manhood (or stupidity) by jumping off the rocks and cliffs into small pools of water.  Yes, it's illegal and very dangerous, but that does not stop the many generations of youth that have come to show off their masculinity and bravery.  Some have paid a terrible price for their recklessness.

As you can see by the picture, this is a very small village, encompassing only four to six tenth of a mile.  However, it has a  lovely inn, a great bakery, a luscious ice cream parlor, a glass blowing store, a winery and some craft shops.  Because of it's out-of-the-way location, it only thrives in the spring, summer and fall. During a nice weekend, the town, although busy but never overcrowded, is a destination point for us. 

On this particular day, we were only going there to partake of the good food and atmosphere of the outdoor dining at the inn. Three of our grandchildren were with us and while the adults hobnobbed with each other, the kids, at their own table, had a great time giggling, playing cards and enjoying the music being played by the restaurant's performer, a young guitarist and vocalist, named Chris Lebresco (http://www.chrislebresco.com) .  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of my granddaughters walk up to Chris and request that he play a specific song. Within a few minutes, this is what we witnessed.

My 10 year old  granddaughter has been teaching herself the guitar for about a year.  She has learned much of what she knows on You Tube.  She has so many talents and we are always in awe of her.  However, what impressed me this day was her confidence in getting up in front of about 50 or so  strangers and putting herself out there.  She took the opportunity and ran with it, smiling the whole way through it. After all my years, I still don't think I could do such a thing.

All of us remember some of those special  kindnesses that are bestowed upon us.  It might not have been a big deal to the benefactor, but for those who receive, it could be monumental and will be remembered forever.  Just a few minutes in your life, a smile, a gesture, a good word, a caring touch,  can impact someone deeply.  This young man,  Chris Lebresco, gave up his time in the spotlight to allow a little girl a moment in the sun.  She was so joyous that day, it will be something she (and I, her teary-eyed grandma) will never forget.

video

Hope this video works

The next Stevie Nicks playing one of her original compositions

Our future guitarist/songwriter is now taking lessons from a music teacher.  We know that she will be a success at whatever she chooses to do in life, not only because of her talents, but because of her brave and beautiful heart.

"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."
Graham Greene  




22 comments:

  1. Gutsy little gal isn't she?? You must be a very proud Grandma.

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  2. How wonderful - you are justified in being proud.

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  3. Hello Arleen:
    We are sure that you are right. With such confidence and joy in her heart, your granddaughter will surely go far. This was obviously a very special day for you all and will be a memory to treasure for ever. It is so good to know that she is continuing her music studies with professional support. Who knows what the future may hold?

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  4. Great post. It is amazing what a little random act of kindness can do. Glad you were able to be part of such an event, and to capture it all on video for your readers to enjoy as well. Tell your granddaughter to keep practicing and to seize every opportunity that arises.

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  5. Arleen! She's amazing! I'm teared up for you!

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  6. Great story. Incredible girl. The little things can mean so much.

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  7. What an absolutely delightful little girl! (As if I had to tell YOU ...) No doubt, she's gonna go far. That kind of grounded self-confidence is something money can't buy, or create. Takes the security of being loved, and she's obviously got that in spades. Not to mention talent and the initiative to teach herself. And then, blessed by the kindness of a stranger, too. It was a magical day for y'all.

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  8. Dear Arleen, what a lovely post. It made me smile and I felt singing in my heart. Stevie surely is talented. And she is blessed with having family members--like you--who recognize both her talent and her bravery.

    I want, also, today to thank you for encouraging me to meander in my blog postings and to trust myself.

    Peace.

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  9. Arleen! That was just so sweet! Brave girl, and obviously very talented. I loved her smile at the end. thanks for sharing that with us. luv linda

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  10. Okay I have to tell you that is one great granddaughter you have - so full of courage and strength to get up and do it. I know you are proud of her - she probably feels good herself!

    Sandie

    PS Hairball was precious!

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  11. That was a lovely story Arleen. When your grand daughter makes it big-time she will remember her moment of glory and spread the sunshine for another young hopeful. You must feel so proud of her.

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  12. Arleen, I loved watching and listening to the video. How fabulous! I must say I wanted to stand up and cheer. Confidence is so important in young lives. I think we may hear more of this young lady in the future. Thank you for sharing you sweet grandchild.

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  13. I just teared up Arleen! She is fantastic. I have taken guitar lessons and it is hard...the fact that she learned mostly off YouTube is amazing. I bet you were so proud and I love her brave little soul. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. She's pretty darn talented! And she had the guts to get up there and play--that speaks a lot of her determination. That's inspiring to see.

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  15. Arleen,
    What a show stopper you have! I teach 10 year olds, and I know how shy some can be, and how brave others are. They are so open to encouragement and for that young man to give her the opportunity to perform, all I can say is "Wow!" Bless his heart! That one act of kindness will possibly make all the difference in the world for her.

    I want to thank you so much for your comments today on my post. I need the encouragement and the will to do what I have to do. I loved the message on the sign at the church that you shared. That is so right. Thanks for offering support and positive thoughts to get me out of my doldrums!

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  16. Very interesting Thanksgiving dinner at your house - you could give everyone their choice! lol sandie

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  17. I couldn't do this either, even if music was my talent (which it isn't) Your little granddaughter has a strong and courageous spirit! Where is this charming village? It sounds like a nice place to spend a day.

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  18. Thanks, Arleen, for commenting on my Saturday posting about spotting and splotching. And yes, you're right, some Oxyclean or Tide would have helped. Ah, it all happened so long ago and yet some memories remain vivid.

    Peace.

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  19. She is a bold one! She will blossom and do many things.

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