World Champion

At a folk festival once I saw a twelve year old kid who was a genius on the accordion. He could play anything, fingers flying — classical, jazz, rock or ethnic tunes, though he admitted to having no great love for polka music. He became a celebrity in certain circles and went on to win the world accordion championship.  Last summer in north Idaho, I happened upon a performance by a guy with a digital accordion, which reproduced even the sound of the fireworks during his rendition of the 1812 Overture.  The “kid” who was the former world champion was in the audience and was invited onstage to play.  He is now in his mid twenties and could still play the heck out of that instrument.  Afterwards, I had a chance to visit briefly with him.  I asked what he’s doing these days.  “You know that gas station across the street from the drive-in on Main Street?” he said.  “That’s mine.”  Life marches on.

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