A small girl named Sarah and her father watched me unpacking, and when she saw my bow, Sarah said, "A fishing rod!"
Dad: Sarah, do you think that's a fishing rod?
Dad: Look at the whole package, what else do you see?
Sarah: A violin case...and a violin...
Dad: Yes, that's her bow.
Sarah: What's a bow?
Dad: It's what you play violin with.
Me: I don't think I'd catch many fish in this fountain.
Dad: It would be more worrying if you did.
Yesterday was the first time I've been paid NOT to play something. A man came up and gave me a dollar and asked me not to play Pop Goes the Weasel anymore, because he and his group who were picnicking nearby had heard it about seven times. I figured that was probably true, because I play it for little ones, so I agreed not to play it anymore right then. Then a Royal Bostonian Mounted Yaksman came by and shooed everyone off that stretch of grass; I'm not sure why.
Along those lines, I understand perfectly well why the Common and the Public Garden have rules about cleaning up after your dog. It would be nice, however, if the same rule applied to horses because Good Lord, horses.
Another man gave me a dollar and told me to play the saddest Irish song I knew, as long as it wasn't "Danny Boy." As I thought, I realized that many Irish songs have depressing lyrics, but the melodies are downright chipper. I tried "Isn't It Grand Boys", but that's more bitter than sad, really. I settled on "Ashokan Farewell", even though it's American and was written in 1982, but the man was satisfied with it, and that's all anyone can ask, really.
After I finished playing, I walked through the Common and had a nice long talk with Stephen Baird, who is a pro-street performer activist, as well as being a performer himself. He is responsible for the changing attitudes of Boston police, the T, and I don't know who all else towards street performers, and he looks out for everyone. I had written to him about the T official who bothered me a couple weeks ago, and he replied promptly. It's good to know that he's working for artists; I'm glad I worked up the nerve to talk to him. And he plays a mean hammered dulcimer.