CABB’s 2019

April 12th Challenge

Secrets of Central Park

a little party

by Monika

Inspired by the statue of Duke Ellington

 

“Why should we go above?” Jenny asked Jacob. “We could have a theme party down here. Imagine Vincent leading all the music. He knows all Duke Ellington’s songs. Could be fun!”

(Vincent did know all the Duke’s tunes, but he would never tell where he’d heard them.)

“We could have the children go up for a look at the statue,” she said, hoping to enlist Jacob in her plans for a school party at the end of the semester.  “Then we could have a dress-up-like-the-Duke contest. Grandpa (as she called Father) could decide who wins!”  (She had a little crush on Vincent, so it was important that he take part in the contest, but mostly she was ever so glad he had found her on the streets and brought her below. Way-cool of Jacob having Vincent for his dad.)

“Who do you think could take the kids above for a look at the Duke’s statue?” Jacob asked. “Or maybe somebody could take some photographs so we could create our own costumes?”

“Your Uncle Devin is here. He would do it. Would you ask him? Or maybe your mom could take the pictures on her way home from work at the Center. She’ll do it if you ask her. We’ll need her help with the planning, but if she says the party is a go, your dad and mom would both be there.

Jenny wasn’t envious of Jacob’s mom, she told herself. When she married Jacob (in a few years), Catherine would be her mom too. But now was not the time to tell Jacob of that plan. First things first! And that was the party, one everyone would remember forever, she was sure!

Catherine went above to take a few photographs of the Duke Ellington statue, just as her loving son had asked her to. She smiled a little as she remembered his earnest tone. “All you have to do,” he’d wheedled, “is take the pictures, create the contest, plan the party, organize the food, get a stereo, and convince Daddy to be the DJ. By the end of the school year,” he’d added, rushing on with “Even the little ones could dress up. And grandpa could have the important job of judging the contest! It’ll be great, Mom. Really great! We can’t do it without your help!”

Catherine was sure everyone below and above would come to the party and that it would be a hit.

The sun was going down, she noticed. She had taken a dozen pictures. Enough, she decided. If she hurried below, she could take an evening walk with her husband before supper. Life was good!

Eight weeks after the pictures were taken, the music was organized. The Helpers in charge of the food had laid out a buffet. The floor had been cleared for dancing and in another open area of the chamber the musicians could set up and improvise. The children who could play an instrument had learned a few Duke Ellington tunes. And Vincent proved an excellent DJ. All was taken care of.

The evening went well. Father declared it “Great!” The parents were so proud of their children. The children without parents knew that one or another of the tunnel dwellers would listen extra hard on their behalf. The winner of the contest received a trip to a music theatre Catherine sponsored. Anyone placing 4th and over got extra brownies from William. Everyone had a good time.

And well out of range of Father’s hearing, Cathy even heard a little story about her brother-in-law and her husband. It seemed that, once, on a bet, Devin and Vincent had gone above and Vincent had placed a hat on the Duke’s head. She remembered reading about that in the newspaper at the time – an old feather cap like that of a musketeer had been found atop the statue! She couldn’t believe her husband had been the culprit! They certainly had a lot to talk about on their next evening’s walk. And if Devin would watch their kids so they could walk out alone together …

Hmmm, that was a thought worth entertaining …

Vincent was looking at her as if he had read her thoughts. He wore that smile she so loved!

Yes, she said to herself. His smile promised a good time in their near future. Since they’d met, her life just kept getting better and better!

 

 

1 Comment

  1. I’ve never read this story, but I like Vincent as DJ. He is truly a man of many talents! This is such a heart-warming multi-generational story. I enjoy C. and V’s happy life.

    Reply

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