Laguna Observed


Lessons in Paying Attention

Ruth Yunker

Okay, I learned something new last Sunday. I learned the difference between chamber music and baroque. You probably already know. Well, I was raised by an amateur opera singer, so you think I’d have known too. But I didn’t, and thus, I went off happily to a fine First Sunday concert at the Laguna College of Art expecting baroque music, my chops all set. The only detail that niggled in my brain was this concert featured flute and guitar. Guitar? But I pushed this small detail aside, figuring they’d gotten it wrong, and the guitar would turn out to be a lute.
It turned out to be a guitar and it was at this moment I learned that chamber music is not baroque, and never will be.
It’s okay.  I love the concept of chamber music too.
A young couple…oh god!  I rue the day I started being able to say that and it was age appropriate, but I digress…was called Almanova. Flutist Jessica Pierce and guitarist Almer Imamovic are Paris-trained and have performed all over the world. She played like a songbird. And he like a young Segovia.  It was a warm afternoon.  The audience, including me, hung onto every lovely note. The doors were left open, and even the birds quieted down to listen.
I haven’t stepped foot on the campus since I dropped out of a cartooning class there in 1983. So it was all new to me and in it’s relaxed, canyon kind of way, was a softly calm place with outstanding sculpture in every nook.
So, two weeks before this concert I set off for an event I also had wrong in my mind.  What do I know? It’s been a whirlwind two months.  I have to check my calendar for the time!  At least I had gotten the dress code right, which was black tie.  What human doesn’t rise up on their toes to get it right when ‘black tie’ is part of the invitation?
All I knew, see, was a friend of mine had asked me if I’d like to attend a black tie fundraiser. Well, I can count on one finger how many black tie events I’ve been invited to in the last 10 years. My heart took flight! This could be big time fun. Then my friend said, “It will be at Pelican Point.” My heart took a dive at the thought of a Pelican Point anything, but then tiaras and princesses floated back into my brain, and I trilled, “Love to!”  I figured I could do Pelican Point as well as anyone. Besides, in spite of the dearth of invitations for black tie affairs, I had the perfect fairytale outfit hanging right then and there in my closet, just screaming to see the light of day.
So, I arrived, my outfit doing a fabulous job. I had set myself the task of walking on a pair of sky-high stilettos, and for some reason, I succeeded. But this was Pelican Point, and I walked in, heart sinking just a tad, when who should I run into but Toni Iseman, our mayor! She was all dressed up looking even more fab that I!  “Are you going to this black tie thing tonight?” I asked her. Well she was, and as we joined the mob, my gaze focused and I began seeing, instead of Pelican Point sorts, a lot of familiar faces—
And that’s when I found out that although the milieu was way north in Newport Beach, the gala was a fundraiser for our very own Susi Q, Laguna’s senior center supreme!  Well, I’ll be!  It went on to be a totally glittering, very special, dance infused, evening.  Which just goes to show that Laguna can go north a tad once in awhile, and all will work out!

Ruth Yunker’s “Me, Myself and Paris” is available on

Share this:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here