Busking for Free

by David James

I'll always remember those warm, weekend twilights on the beach after the frolic of the waves seemed to flatten with the impending dusk, sending the surfers home and, after the bait was spent, sending the surfcasters away, I'd claim a square of sand as my stage, uncase my tired, pawn shop-acquired, Gibson guitar, plug in my amp and open my evening with a couple of Hank Williams songs and then, after a couple more country & western songs, I'd pull my Hohner harmonica from my back pocket and segue, slowly tapping my sneaker, creating my signature, snail-slow, deeply resonating Jimmy Reed song, “Down in Mississippi”, bending all music from then on into the rhythm & blues most had come to hear and, well for me, I loved playing all my music because it gave respite to my boring-assed, Mondays-to-Fridays, filling teeth and fitting dentures.