"O great creator of being, grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives."
There are all kinds of art forms in the world, and I enjoy all of them. Granted some more then others, but one my favorite things about living in the Bay Area, is the fun of watching the performance art of the street performers. We have them here in Berkeley, but they are perhaps more often associated with San Francisco. There was a time when you couldn't visit Golden Gate Park, without seeing one form of street performer or another. Mimes, musicians, magicians. It was always great fun. Robin Williams in his early days, and mimes, Shields and Yarnell, just to name a few of the most famous. For a while, street performing had been discouraged, but slowly former San Francisco mayor, Willie Brown reintroduced them back to the city. Now you can see them along Pier 39, Golden Gate Park, and the Embarcadero.
When I was in Santa Cruz last week, I happened upon this fellow," The Great Morgani," who was performing at the Pacific Garden Mall, in downtown Santa Cruz. The Pacific Garden Mall, has to be one of the nicer open air malls I have seen in the area. It consists of three lovely tree lined streets and has a good bit of public art on display throughout. There are some lovely outdoor cafes, and several street performers to make things a little more interesting. As I was driving down Pacific avenue the other day, looking for a parking place, I heard someone playing, "Lady of Spain," on the accordion. LOL. Yep, that song was definitely meant for the accordion. LOL. I was lucky enough to find a spot just up the street from where the music was coming from, so I decided to check it out. I was ready for an average guy, maybe wearing a Burgundy suede tuxedo, circa 1952, but what I found was much more imaginative then that. I found "The Great Morgani Accordionist Extraordinaire," aka Frank Lima.
While his web site states clearly that he plays, "everything except Lady of Spain or Metallica," I distinctly remember hearing that particular song that day. Hmmm, but in that "The Great Morgani" is an affable guy, who takes requests, perhaps he made an exception for a grateful fan. Could be. LOL. He is a great family entertainer, who enjoys interacting with his audience, including the children. When asked by a parent of child of about 3 years old, to "play something for the kids," he happily played, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." You should have seen the smile on that child's face. Now that's art! :)
"The Great Morgani"
Santa Cruz, California
August 11, 2006