Sons of Norway

Last night, I performed for the Sons of Norway chapter in Fargo at a banquet for their volunteers. There were about 150 people there.

It went okay. The sound system was a little rough. I have gotten used to wireless microphones, so it was a bit of a challenge holding a mike and trying to read and talk. I ended up fumbling with my notes until somebody piped up, "you must be a Norwegian!" True enough.

Sons of Norway groups are largely geriatric. I would say the average age was over eighty. I met a lady who introduced herself as the "youth director," and I sort of had to suppress my smart-aleck instincts--for in that crowd, youth was anybody pre-Social Security.

I had a half an hour to kill beforehand, so I went over to Schmitt Music to look at church organs. I used to play organ, and I have dreamt of having an Allen organ in my house.

Well, Schmitt has stopped selling church organs. However, the salesman said his church was getting rid of their organ, a Rodgers. I said I was interested. He said, head over there and take a look, the Praise Band was going to be practicing there soon, so the church would be open.

Well, the church building was brand new and enormous. In the auditorium, the organ sat in the corner gathering dust, a victim of the Praise Band, perhaps.

What a nice-looking instrument. Rodgers, for many years, was the best organ maker in the business. Virgil Fox, the late great classical organist, traveled around giving Bach concerts in high school gymnasiums using a Rodgers.

I called the pastor to see if I could play the organ sometime. It has been disconnected, but he would be happy to fix it up so I could try it out. So, I suspect I will run down there soon.

However, the thing is huge. I will have to bring a tape measure along to see if it will fit through the sliding glass door. We might have to remove the door. Whatever it takes. The price looks to be right.

I have a silly superstition I hesitate to report, because it goes against all my ideologies. However, my lucky number has always been 74 since I was in college and always seemed to get 74 as my mailbox number no matter which college I attended.

Sometimes, the number pops up more frequently than others, and then I start wondering what good thing is going to happen.

Yesterday, on the way to Fargo, I was listening to a disc of Virgil Fox playing Bach on a Rodgers. Along Highway 10 and then on 94, every car plate I saw seemed to have a 74 at the end. Then, on Highway 9, there was mile marker 74. A little later, I looked down at the odometer to see two 74s. Mmmm. Something must be up.

Then, I walked into the music store to find out that a church has just decided to get rid of a Rodgers organ, the very instrument I had spent my trip down to Fargo dreaming of playing. Ha!