Wednesday, May 23, 2007


A scene from A Place Called Home, the youth center where I work in South Los Angeles.

A few minutes ago, three of the music teachers came into development and took seats around the conference room table. William said, "The kid doesn't know what this meeting is for, right?"


"He's going to get nervous when he sees you with a camera."

I egged them on by offering to fingerprint him.


Then the kid comes in. Pants hanging down, cap low on his head - as you do.

They sit him down and ask him if he knows why he's been called in. The kid fidgets and says no. William looks around. "Nobody told him?" The boys shake their heads. William says, "Well, you're here because you have been amazing to us. You improve day by day, and you're helping teach younger kids while stepping up and becoming the musician you need to be. So we have something for you."

Then William produces a guitar case. He instructs the student to open it up. He does. By now, his hands are shaking a bit. From the cases, he produces a beautiful classical guitar. William says, "The neck is thicker than what you're used to." Nonetheless, the kid plays it pretty well. They got him a nice one: rich, warm tone.

William says, "That's yours. With our thanks."

I'm really glad I was in the room for that.


Jane R said...



Theriomorph said...