Here in South Carolina, hunting season begins rather early, in mid-August. As I was talking with friends about their plans to go deer hunting this year, I couldn't help remembering one of my own adventures in "Deer Country."
If you are on the road much at night, you probably know that deer can suddenly appear on the scene, endangering themselves as well as travelers. I grew up in East Central Illinois "deer country", well aware of this reality. In fact, my driver and friend, Carolyn and I were just recently talking about the time the deer hit us as we drove from Illinois into Kentucky. On a lighter note, though, I never could have dreamed that one of these critters would "steal the show" from me in broad daylight.
When I was in my mid-teens, I received a call from the program manager of a Central Illinois area resort, asking about my rates and availability to present dinner music on a regular basis. The manager explained that the resort had just purchased a player grand piano. A decision was to be made, whether to hire a house pianist, or simply to use the player piano to entertain guests. When I never received a follow-up call, I was fairly certain of the final decision.
About a year later, I was planning my first professional photo shoot at a grand piano. Remembering the contact from the resort, I called to ask if I could schedule a photo shoot there. The manager agreed, and we set a time when the dining area was closed to the public.
My photographer and I walked into the establishment and found the piano in the lounge area. Seated at the grand was "Old Buck", the manmade likeness of a deer, stuffed, life-sized and wearing a tuxedo. A passing employee explained enthusiastically, "Oh, yeah! The deer plays the piano. We wire his hooves to the keyboard and put a disk in the player grand. It's really great!"
We respectfully placed Old Buck in a chair out of the way, returning him to his seat of honor after the photo shoot. When my photographer left, I asked my mom to take some pictures with her camera. This photo op was just too good to pass up!
Old Buck and I talked things over and parted friends. If it meant being a novelty in a smoke-filled lounge, I really do think that he was the best man for the job.
As I write, we here in the United States are celebrating Labor Day. I thank God for all who work to keep our country going and growing strong. I am grateful for God's guidance in my own life and work. One of my favorite Scriptures, Ephesians 2:10 reads, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them." There is no doubt in my mind that He has a sense of humor, and that Divine Humor never ceases to keep me humble.
Stay tuned for more posts like this one. Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart!