Old people dancing like fools

This evening I went to the first Idyllwild Summer Concert in the park of the year. The concert was opened by the local musician Sandi Castleberry and her threesome was followed by the main act a latin-jazz/slasa band by the name Brujeria. Both were very good. Sandi Castleberry playing folk and 70’s music from Joni Mitchell among others and Brujeria playing classic salsa tunes as well as some I didn’t recognized but really enjoied.

The crowd was bigger than I expected and it was a good opportunity to see a slice of who exactly lives up here. I wasn’t really surprised by the demographic that showed up. Idyllwild is a popular area to retire, although only for the very cool and active type of retiree. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling so comfy here the last couple weeks 😉 I digress. In addition to the older set there were indeed a surprising number of parents with young children. This seems to be the typical demographic for summer outdoor concerts, the 50+ crowd and parents with young kids. Both groups though did share one thing in common, a beautiful disregard for vanity. The older crowd took to dancing like fools with all the joy and freedom in the world. The similarly kids took to running around and playing all the while dancing to the beat themselves without a care about what the adults around them thought. Frankly, it was only the 30 somethings like myself that were quietly sitting and listening to the music, although I had some serious foot and finger tapping going on. There were momments where I had my whole leg bouncing up and down to the beat!

Why is it though that it isn’t until so many of us reach 50+ that we drop all those silly inhibitions and are willing to cut lose in a grassy field with wild abandon and no cares about who might be watching us and what they might think. I should mention I’ve always had a thing for people that can “dance like no one is watching”. I’ve always considered it one of the most beautiful, blissful and inspiring things to watch… In large part envious and knowing I need to be more like that in my own life.

Nothing is absolute of course, there were a few 20/30 somethings dancing and there certainly were a lot of people in the retiree set not dancing, once again including myself in the retiree set. However, my lack of dancing was in part due to the lack of a partner, not that that should really stop me, but sadly I was solo at this concert and without my love, Elena. She undoubtedly would have loved every minute of it as much as I did, and convincied me to at least try out our salsa moves for a few momments that have grown rusty with lack of use.

Still, it was one of those evening you just feel everything is right in the world. It is a times like this I could really see myself living here Idyllwild, long-term, someday… I never thought I would want to, or even could. Having come up here for weekends for over two decades I’d always written it off as a little town I’d go stir crazy trying to live in. It was never really even a consideration. Though, I’m starting to get below the surface and see the beauty beneath the skin of this little town. Old paradigms are falling away from me.



  1. I so wish I was there with you!

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