At the gym this morning a woman told her grandson, before he went outside, to be sure to hydrate. When I was a Little Leaguer, we were told not to hydrate on hot summer days because of the possibility of cramps. The term back then was "drink a lot of water."
We were also told not to swim after eating, as that would surely give us cramps. Lately, because of the time the pool ends up in the shade, I have been swimming immediately after dinner. I haven't felt anything close to a cramp, though I have occasionally felt like throwing up. Perhaps vomit was what those lifeguards were worried about.
It is a shock returning home from a trip, especially a short one, and getting in the car, turning on the radio, pushing a button to silence the discussion about presidential candidates and finding generic pop music where you once heard celestial sounds.
As that paragraph indicates, Classical South Florida was not my first choice when I got in the car. The station I listened to most frequently was WLRN. But sometimes you need a little night, and even day, music (particularly when the talk turns to the race for president). After the oldies station reduced its collection to two songs, "Light My Fire" and "Piano Man," I found myself going back and forth between WDNA - which, like all jazz stations, often features musicians who engage in instrumental masturbation but makes up for it with its wonderful Latin and world music programs - and Classical South Florida.
My Honda has a CD player, but there's nothing like the range, serendipity, and edification of music on the radio. After I graduated from college I moved to Washington, DC, where the local classical music station was the only one I listened to. I thought it was time I learned about serious music, and to do that I went cold turkey on rock.
Classical South Florida played the same educational role, introducing me to musicians, works, and even composers I'd never heard of. Every once in a while they'd do a pledge drive and I didn't give (as I do to WLRN) because it wasn't my go-to station. Also, they had no Ira Glass bullying you into parting with your money. And, I told myself, there were plenty of wealthy people around who would step in and help.
It was a strange thing for someone to think who'd been here when the Florida Philharmonic went out of business.
Driving around South Florida, never a joy, has just gotten a lot grimmer for the small and apparently impotent community of music lovers here. I'm already thinking about December when, starting around the 15th, Classical South Florida was all I listened to in the car. It was the great season of choral music and, driving I-95, you could hear not just "The Messiah" but heavenly Swedish choirs (you could almost see the candleglow) and hauntingly beautiful carols like "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" and "In the Bleak Midwinter."
This midwinter promises to be, musically at least, very bleak.