Recently Tym and I attended Our State Weekend in Pinehurst. It was our first time to the weekend event, so maybe that’s what made me especially observant.
Our State magazine hosts this event every year at a major hotel and draws a crowd from around North Carolina—subscribers and others who want to see noted Tar Heels talk history, culture, cooking, performing arts, travel and more.
The Kruger Brothers performed a concert on Friday night including the song “People Get Ready,” the soulful anthem by Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions who made it a hit record during the Civil Rights era. I hadn’t heard this song in ages. I have the Rod Stewart/Jeff Beck version on cassette. I don’t have the occasion to listen to cassettes anymore. I almost never hear the song, so it was nice hearing it again.
The very next day, walking through a gift shop we heard Rod Stewart singing “People Get Ready.”
I know what you’re thinking. I’ve heard “People Get Ready” several times over the past year or so and haven’t noticed. No, you would be wrong. I particularly like “People Get Ready,” so when I hear it, I remember. Catching this song twice within 12 hours was quite a coincidence, but not as much as what happened Saturday afternoon.
Those who know me well know that I’m a knitter. Not a great one, but the split-brain type, who keeps my hands busy counting rows and stitches while I’m doing something else, such as riding in a car or watching TV or sitting through a day’s worth of sessions in a hotel meeting room. At the end of a session I have something more to show for the time spent than memories of the presentation.
I knitted my way through several sessions at Our State. I was the only one with needles in hand that weekend, the only person knitting. It was a spur-of-the-moment project—a winter scarf for a friend up north.
On Saturday, before the 2 p.m. presentation began, a lady tapped me on the shoulder. “Is this yours?” she asked.
She held up a bamboo double-pointed needle that she’d found beside my chair. I told her no, I didn’t have bamboo needles with me, just metal ones.
And then I thought about the odds of finding a knitting needle in a gigantic meeting room filled with 686 people. As far as I know, I was the only one knitting that weekend. I could have found a seat other places in the room. The space was as big as half a football field, or so it seemed, yet by coincidence I chose a seat on the very spot where a knitting needle had come to rest.
Whoever lost it must be a multitasker like me. I can only assume that this other knitter was making something circular, maybe socks or a sleeve or a neckline–something with curves and echoes, like this essay.
I returned home with memories of a special weekend plus a finished scarf to mail off to Delaware.
The inspiration for this blog was gravy.