Stumbling on a Dance


Did this really happen?

Or is it just a moment in celebrating the Studs Terkel Archive opening its digital doors to all today. Celebrating 45 years of Studs Terkel in conversation with the world.

Did this really happen?

Alongside the rolled silver steel splash of a bandstand in Millennium Park Chicago at lunchtime today. Or maybe it was long ago. Warm wild breezes blowing like Louis Armstrong laughing. Looking down on the stage, I catch this one silver sliver of a memory.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra dressed in rehearsal jeans, shorts, summewear and just taken a break. The couple at center stage were holding hands. Laughing. He was silver haired and a red checked shirt. She had a smile that even from 200 yards away could make spring shine even brighter. I had no idea what they were rehearsing. Then, the orchestra still on break, a trumpet pipes up with this story:

Stars shining bright above you

Night breezes seem to whisper “I love you”

Birds singing in a sycamore tree

Dream a little dream of me

 That couple turns towards each other, he might have even done a little bow, and they begin a soft, swaying dance of spring.

Stars fading but I linger on dear

Still craving your kiss

I’m longing to linger till dawn dear

Just saying this.

 From 1931. Andre, Schwandt and Kahn’s “Dream a Little Dream for Me” delivered in solo golden brass joy.

Just a tiny passing instant. Still there. From all those years ago.

That time I was out on a lunch hour walk, and suddenly stumbled dreaming on Studs Terkel and Renee Fleming dancing.

Just like today.

The Studs Terkel Archive. Take a listen. It’s everybody’s story.

Photo Credit:




10 Responses to “Stumbling on a Dance”

  1. boomerbob Says:

    55 in February – must be a record where you are. Your writing always takes to the place you’re writing about – love it

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Bob–It’ll probably snow tomorrow! But oh today was good. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Naomi de Plume Says:

    ChiGuy! I was just singing this song, inexplicably, in my kitchen on Tuesday. I love when the universe brings us together!

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Naomi–This song hit me on Tuesday too. And just stayed put till today when the wind started blowing. Amazing kitchen you have there!

  3. pastorcarol22 Says:

    Love this! This song reminds me of my parents. You are so good at vividly creating a moment in time. Thanks for taking us dancing with you and Studs and Renee!

  4. Robin OBrien Says:

    I remember hearing them rehearse. What a treat…for free!


    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Robin!!!! What a treat to get a comment from you! Many thanks! Yes–the rehearsals can be a delight.

  5. Paulhaider74 Says:

    Roger, it was a beautiful day on Friday of last week despite the strong winds. This story reminds me that winter will be gone fairly soon, and I am always ready for Spring…steen!

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Paulie! NO one is more ready for that than you! We should have dinner soon–it’s been too long.

  6. paulhaider1974 Says:

    Yes, let’s get together again for dinner soon. I liked that Italian restaurant where we met last time. Thanks. Paul

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: