Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Green Lake Organ Grinder

4/24/13 Platinum Sepia ink, watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha
I think of him as “the Green Lake organ grinder,” but his name is Gary Harding, and his business card says “Musica Molida.” Although the organ he cranks beside the path outside the Aqua Theater is from England, the beautiful cabinetry and cart that he uses to transport the organ were handmade by Gary. All the money that people put into the basket goes to help children in Zimbabwe.
I didn’t recognize the tunes he was playing, and it turned out he had composed the music himself. In addition to grinding, Gary accompanies the organ with a small drum, cymbals and other percussion instruments. Shouldn’t an organ grinder have a monkey? Oh, there it is – a tiny one next to the basket.
Sketching in the sunshine on the warmest day all month, listening to the music from the organ, I couldn’t think of many things that could make me feel more like spring was finally on its way.

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