A Genie's Magical Music
I was so honored to tell the story of Freddy Greene in the May issue of Raleigh's WALTER Magazine. Several friends have reached out to know more about how Freddy and I met so I thought I'd share a bit of the backstory. Our friendship began in 1998 when I was working in downtown Raleigh. I was in my first years out of college and hoping to make an impact on the world but finding that #adulting was harder than it looked. I was working in fundraising for Special Olympics North Carolina and learned quickly that I would hear "NO" far more often than I would hear "YES". As I would head to my car, often depleted at the end of a work day, I began to hear the sweet song of Freddy's saxophone. Something in those smooth notes beckoned me to sit and stay a while. Fast forward a few years and it was sadly time to bid Raleigh adieu, for a short while at least. I moved to Minneapolis and settled in to the first years of married life. As it does, time marched on. We moved back to Raleigh, had two delightful, charming and, at times, willful boys. Years of love, laughter and loss were mounting.
In the fall of 2018, 20 years after first meeting Freddy, I was working on a photography project with people experiencing homelessness called Through Our Eyes. The project was being exhibited at CAM Raleigh and a great advocate of the project, Stefan Youngblood of When Grace Happens, had secured a band for the exhibit's opening night. The band was comprised of musicians who had experienced or were currently experiencing homelessness to shine a light on and support the talent in our community. Freddy came to rehearse. I was so excited to see and hear him again and he crushed the opening night performance. I have gained so much from our friendship, not the least of which is a reminder that we are all connected and we need each other - and when we really listen, it can be utterly magical.
The video below is a sacred (and spontaneous!) moment Freddy shared with my 10 year old aspiring guitarist...