Second chances – we are fortunate in this lifetime when an opportunity to relive a life moment that defined something powerful presents itself for us to recognize and seize. Not in review, like seeing a video, photo album or a reading an old letter – but the actual physical presence of the moment…
It was in the company of these wonderful women, Natalie Segall and her daughter Tina, that the gift of a “second chance” showed up.
The Segalls are extended family, and the occasion was the first summer that MK and I had the chance to hang out at the beach complex the family operated in Sandy Hook, NJ. We beached all day and then were treated to a wonderful dinner/evening on the open deck of the restaurant. My brother and Susan had joined us on the trip, and we were all just so glad we were there. They asked me if I wanted to get up and sing with the evening entertainer but I just wanted to sit and take the night in. Now this is another one of those spots that needs review as well.
When you are being treated by a wonderful family and they know you are a singer and want to hear you sing, well you oblige…right? For many years, I am sorry to say, I was just a flat out snob about spontaneous singing. I’m not rehearsed, I need a microphone, I’m not warmed up…I mean stop it already!
As we were saying our goodbyes out through the kitchen where Tina was closing up, she stopped me and said, “I really wanted to hear you sing”. I said, “Do you have a favorite jazz standard?”. She replied, “Oh, I wanted to hear you sing a rock song…I took two deep breaths and that Spontaneous Joplin from locker room 1969 was there to serve me. No one saw it coming, not even MK, Susan or Vic. That night, right there in that kitchen, I vowed to never again decline an invitation to sing for someone. I worked up several tunes a capella to have on hand for such occasions. Now I love it, spontaneous singing!
The Sea Gull’s Nest at Sandy Hook was destroyed in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. The memory of that wonderful evening remains. Singing for Tina and Natalie was a second chance gift. Thanks, Janis J; and Thanks, Segalls!