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From Nyack to Texas: Rhythms

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — If music is a leveler, the proof is here. This city of mixed heritage, constant politeness and high temperatures seems to sing its way through the day and evening with song. There is music everywhere.
This traveler, however reluctant, did finally make it back to where his son and family live. And yes, I had a truly good time with two my two grandchildren; I also managed to make quite a few electrical repairs. In all the doings, there seemed to be music.
When I went to hardware stores or big-box retailers, I heard country tunes. There were Mexican-style tunes in restaurants. The Alamo was festive with mariachi. Cars stopped at lights vibrating with music, a mix that felt at once yellow and green, never red.
It could be the heat that drives the rhythm, for you don’t think about the weather as much when the radio is on.
It could be the rich mix of Spanish, German, Czech and cowboy that places all these different elements in a common form.
It could be the easy smiles of so many here and the slower pace of life. That might be what gets the daily jukebox jumping.
For certain, folks here go about their lives just like anywhere else. They work if they have a job. They eat in public places. There are families in the dog parks. There is romance. There is seriousness. There is sadness, too, the same sad stories in newspapers.
Yet when the day dawns, and I head for 6a coffee at the Valero mart, already you hear the tune-up for the daily rhythm.
Each city, each region, each nation, each town, even the smallest village, has its music. The music of some places is more audible, more vigorously expressed, or more delicate.
You might have to bend an ear to listen, but the melody and, more deeply, the lyrics, are to there, waiting to be discovered.
Sure plugged in at old San Antone.

Art Gunther is a retired newspaperman. He can be reached at

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