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Joy in a time of (something) (#1032)

Topics/tags: Miscellaneous

Today I was on Facebook and a message popped up. It said something like Jon Richardson is now performing live. Jon’s a former student [1] who did lots of fantastic things at Grinnell, including helping with some major searches. If I recall correctly, Jon went on to work for a search firm before deciding that his heart was really in music. He’s been performing ever since.

In any case, I stopped whatever I was doing and started watching. I’ve not had the chance to see Jon perform live before and it was great to be able to see and hear him. He was also clearly watching the messages on the chat. It was nice to get a personal shout out and to hear others get shout outs.

I don’t do much on Facebook, so I hadn’t realized that Facebook notifies you when a friend joins a live video. I got a chance to reconnect with one of my mother’s good friends. I got to connect with a former Grinnell colleague. I got to spend some time chatting with a colleague I haven’t seen in a while. And I got to see a bunch of comments from Trustees I know and respect [2].

I also enjoyed seeing the community that developed in the chat. Different groups of people in the chat clearly know each other, but cross-person chat developed, about song requests, singing along, or how to leave a tip. There was also some conversation about the songs he sang. (I got to ask who people associate with Delta Dawn. Is it Tanya Tucker or Helen Reddy [3]?)

Michelle and I had a great time listening along. In addition to the googly-eyed performance of Delta Dawn, I particularly enjoyed the version of Suddenly Seymour [4]. And I loved the range of music.

I see from Jon’s professional Facebook page that he’ll be performing each day this week at 5 p.m. EDT. Today’s performance was on Jon’s personal page. I encourage you to visit some of his future concerts. (And, if you live in the Northeast, please visit his concerts in person once they resume.)

Thank you, Jon, for building community, for your wonderful performance, and for being you. I hope I can keep tuning in for the rest of this virtual residency [5]. And I hope to see many more of my friends there.

[1] Or maybe just a former committee colleague.

[2] Yes, there are Trustees I know and respect.

[3] I realize that I’ve asked the question before.

[4] I loved the start; I’ll admit that I could have done without the alternative voices through the middle.

[5] Is that the right term?

Version 1.0 of 2020-03-16.