Written by: Cort Delano
On Wednesday, December 24, Calgary musician and performer, Cort Delano performed for clients at dinner. The following is an account of his experience that evening.
Thank you Cort for sharing your talent and gifts. Thank you for touching hearts and lifting spirits.
Cort’s Blog, for Wednesday Dec 24, 2008 -- www.sonicbids.com/cortdelano
Downtown was empty. We passed maybe 3 cars on the way through sleeping towers. This may have been the only Wednesday out of a year of Wednesdays where 5 pm rush hour traffic didn’t exist in this city, in any city for that matter: Wednesday, Dec 24 2008. People must have followed that bright star way out of the city somewhere, each to their own little stable. Well, that bright star for me this night shone right above 4th and Riverfront, The DI.
We wrestled the equipment out of the car, on to the loading dock, through rooms, doors, hallways and up the elevator like the employees do this with their eyes closed.
The set up was quick and easy, the chairs filled, folks with “Santa” hats walked by, the volunteers were arriving, there was an excitement in the place, flashing smiles, “let’s here ya sing!” shouts from the wave like chatter from the growing crowd… and just as the first plate was handed out, I strummed my first note. Bah rum pa puhm puhm!
It could have been just my own “good Christmas vibes” that I was feeling, but people began to pull up a chair, sit on the stairs, smile and bounce as I belted out “Grandma got run over by a reindeer”, “Jughound” and “Little Sister”.
Looking around at the people I began to wonder how far away they could be from family, friends, half way across the country? Maybe they don’t have family? Is this just another day for them? But here they are in Calgary. The temperature may have been -30 outside, but all those chilling thoughts were cast away as a couple began to dance, clap their hands, stamping out the gravy they just ate. People coming up the stairs were curious about all of the fuss as the volunteers greeted them with Turkey and cheer. People sang along, we had a party on our hands.
As things winded down and the volunteers were set to go, they received a standing ovation. I sang out an old sea shanty that Stan Rogers would end his live performances with, “Leave Her Johnny” and everyone all joined in as best they could, but not nearly as jovial as the Maritimers. All seemed to end on a Jolly track of Joy, at least in my corner of the DI. People were happy, shaking hands, thumbs up, patting backs, I received a card.
Leaving, we passed through a large room with beds, side by side, by side. We gingerly wheeled the speakers through the quiet hall. Some were sleeping curled up, others sprawled out from a long day or a hard day. A few gathered in the corner around a light, surrounded by snowshoe insoles, layers of clothing, talking into the evening. As we loaded the equipment back in the car, guitar n all, that star was shining brighter than before above the DI, as it shone in each one of us that evening, and still shines on, brilliant as it did so long ago. And the words of a song requested that evening came flooding back to me “Imagine”.
Please visit Cort's blog at www.sonicbids.com/cortdelano -- to find out more about his amazing talent.