Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tony's Country

Tony Pavelli loves country music. What his family doesn’t know is Tony’s love of singing country. He keeps this passion secret because his father, Enrico, is a wielder at the machine works in Cloverdale and despises country music. Enrico is a man’s man. Singing is for girls and no son of his would ever sing, or dance for that matter. As for Tony’s mother..... she is too burdened with six children to shield him from the harassment and teasing he would suffer from her husband and Tony’s older brothers.

Enrico Pavelli’s life is routine and predictable. His alarm rings at 6:30 A.M. He gets up, dresses, goes downstairs, sips a cup of coffee and reads the sports section of the newspaper. He closely monitors all the Confederacy Football teams but is a rabid supporter of the local Cloverdale Eagles. Tony is sometimes awoken by his father’s tirades if his teams lose their matches. Sometimes he gets up and goes downstairs to listen to his father’s conversation with the newspaper. Tony understands his dad's love for the sport. He's a good football player himself on his school's team. But there is a big difference between a fan and a fanatic as seen when these two male Pavelli’s are sitting together at the kitchen table at 6:45 A.M. One shouts at the newspaper and the other sits with his knees drawn to his chest and listens.

At 7:00 A.M. Enrico leaves for the machine works and Tony gets ready for school. Tony is out the door by 7:45 A.M. a good thirty minutes before needed to catch the bus. This is his time. Instead of following the road to the bus stop, he takes the long way through the neighbor’s field.

The field is his theater. He turns on his cassette player and sings along with the greatest names in country to the greatest music ever written. He sings with all his heart in a place where no one will hear. And when the bus comes into view he picks up his books and runs to the stop.

The wheat in the field is entertained a second time when Tony returns from school in the late afternoon. He takes his time walking and singing, stopping the cassette repeatedly when he forgets the words, rewinding and starting over from the beginning. He figures he has memorized nearly fifty songs that way.

Tony wants a guitar for his upcoming birthday. He checked the prices at the shop in the village and walked away knowing they were more than his mother could afford. He didn’t think she would buy him one anyway. Tony came to the realization that if he wanted his own guitar he would have to earn the money himself.

Tony has a plan. He will learn to play the guitar. When his family is conditioned to hearing him play country music he will start singing. Simple songs at first, and as time passes he hopes to convert them to the single most powerful force in the universe - Country music.

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