Saturday was a glorious morning for the National Music Festival’s concert of “Beauty and the Beast” for Tractor and 2 Harps at the Farmers Market in the park.. One harpist was the son of Leon Fleischer – also rated number 10 in the world ping-pong player . He had played on Friday with a local group and had autographed the paddle of one of the members.The other was his student Eleanor Clarkson, from Texas.
They first played Debussy’s Danses Sacre et Profane – Then they started in on a very delicate, rippling tune. From the audience, Richard Rosenberg the distinguished conductor of the whole festival,strolled up, looking very disagreeable and disapproving, wearing a straw hat, chewing on a raw onion and breathing on them. Then he climbed up into the tractor, turned on the key and gave the engine a blast as a puff of black smoke came from the exhaust. He did everything possible to interrupt them. Harps played louder and louder, tractor kept perfect rhythm by revving the engine.
The tractor was gleamingly new , bright green, and when the music folk asked to borrow it from the Atlantic tractor company, the man said – “Well you realize it’s our tractor that’s the beauty.”
Illustration courtesy by Raymond Logan