One Summer Night Doo Wop
The day started out with a jet ski ride up the lake followed by a motorcycle ride to search for a geocache whose location had stymied me for the last few attempts. I had not read carefully enough that the latitude and longitude in the geocache description were for the parking area at the the Carlton Drake Park in Newfoundland, not for the location of the geocache. The Three Flags geocache actually has latitude and longitude of 7BeH Ar.CHo 74Re HO.AmN. Look like gibberish? I thought so too until I looked at the work done by Dmitri Mendeleev. A very clever puzzle had been created. I was happy to find the cache once I had solved the puzzle. Later in the afternoon we drove down to Mt. Pocono Municipal Airport to meet some friends who flew in from Connecticut to join us for the One Summer Night Doo Wop Extravaganza in Stroudsburg. at the Sherman Theatre. This was my second visit to Stroudsburg, a small Northeast Pennsylvania town near Interstate 80 not far from the Delaware Water Gap. Parking on Main Street was no problem and the Gaelic dinner at the Siamsa Irish Pub was outstanding.
I love classical music concerts, but Doo Wop is a close second — at the time they always seem superior to any kind of concert. Last night’s concert featured Barbara Harris & The Toys (“A Lover’s Concerto”), Sammy Sax & The MD’s, The Del Vikings (“Come Go with Me” ), Vito Picone & The Elegants (“Little Star”), and a fantastic local group called Joey & the T-Birds.
The Origins of Doo Wop are debated but most would agree that it evolved from a merging of pop, gospel, blues, jazz and swing elements in the late 1940’s and early 50’s. Doo Wop music is innocent, joyous, romantic and, some would say, almost spiritual. Doo Wop is vocal group harmonizing at it’s best.
Watching Doo Wop performing groups on stage is inspiring — these senior citizens are professional and proud. Their voices have been preserved for more than fity years. They have a glitter in their eye and a spring in their step. I admit that I choke up listening to them. A little arithmetic can quickly show that most of the performers were 60+ and some may have been 70+. Some looked it, some did not. All of them had great voices and rhythm. If you look at their concert schedules on the web sites you can see that they are performing almost constantly — one group claimed 208 concerts last year. Why are they doing this? Why don’t they stop and retire? It is possible some lived past their means or had not invested in their future during the hay days and now need the money. Others may do it out of loyalty to other members of their group. Some may not know what else to do. Most however, are probably doing it because they love it. You could see the sparkle in their eyes and the rhythm in their step. As the audience raved, the performers were inspired, and the cycle continued. It was a great night. Thankfully, our friends had a safe albeit very late flight back to New England.