Taos unlimited feature local color story, The Music Maker, Taos Plaza

The Music Maker

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting on a bench in the Taos plaza. I see him coming at a distance, carrying an old suitcase. There was a dog beside him. I was hungry and was going to my favorite restaurant.

I stop a moment. He sits under a tree and opens the old suitcase. He takes out an old accordian. I could see some of the keys were broken. It did not look like it was worthy of music.

The old man put the straps of the accordian around his shoulders. He rolled a cigarette and calmly smoked awhile. I was going to leave the plaza, but something told me to sit awhile more.

I watched as the old dog looked up at the man and the music started. I could see the sunlight dancing in the old man’s eyes as his fingers moved across the broken keyboard.

He moved the accordian in and out and the sounds were magical on that Sunday afternoon. They gripped my heart and my doubts about the music maker turned to belief.

The first song that he played took me somewhere that I had been long ago. Tears welled up in my eyes and I had to stand up and walk.

When the music stopped I walked over to him and I asked, “What song were you playing?” He looked at me and he said, “Son, I don’t know, I just channel it.”

I left a $50 bill in that old suitcase, but the moment was priceless. Sometimes what looks broken only needs the master’s touch.

~Woody Galloway
New Mexico photographer, poet and storyteller

Text and Photos Copyright © 2006-11 Woody Galloway
Design and Graphics Copyright © 2006-11 Taos Unlimited
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