Today’s blog post written by Rachael Rennebeck after hangin’ out with the Pittsburgh Banjo Club!

Sometimes simple moments are “Not everyone is a jagoff! moments.”  Last night was one of them.  I must have been living under a boulder, not even a rock, to be unaware of the ‘banjo night’ at the Elks in the Northside. This is where many people gather to watch mainly seniors play classic sing-a-long songs accompanied with four to five banjos. 

I sat humbly at a table with 80+ year-old attendees who tapped their feet and excitedly sang the lyrics to “Baby Face, you’ve got the cutest little baby face,” and “Lida Rose” from the famous “Music Man.” The crazy part is I knew the words and got lost in singing along.  Then I saw a group of college students sit at the same table and start laughing. My heart sunk…here we go.  They are going to make fun, ruin a night of melancholy bliss for these people.   

I subconsciously put on my Super Woman costume ready to defend my table of friends (who I did not know by name let alone enough to know their stories.) I rehearsed what I would say to these millennials who have no idea what these songs mean to my friends whom I have never met nor knew the meaning it had to them.  Then, someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked for the last copy of the staple-bound booklet of words that sat on the table.  The 87-year-old woman with the leopard scarf winked and passed it along after sipping her high ball.  I realized I was a jagoff!  

These students attended because an art student among them never heard a live banjo.  They knew of some of the songs like Frank Sinatra’s famous Rockettes tune “New York, New York.” The flannel-wearing youngsters with hoops through their noses simply wanted to experience banjo night.  Guess what? So did the silver-haired gents in suspenders accompanied by ladies wearing cardigans since the weather is changing.  Nonetheless, it was a moment.  It squashed my pre-conceived thoughts and made me enjoy the evening even more. Moral of the story?  Just enjoy banjo night, ya jagoff! Oh, and don’t be so judgy! 

Find out more about The Pittsburgh Banjo Club!

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