Our Little Girl
I once asked a number of friends who is more irritating - a person who thinks he/she is always right and usually is, or a person who thinks he/she is always right and frequently is not? Answer: Find a new friend. Someone who is talented, smart, and NICE. Someone who puts on no airs whatsoever, like Dave, whom I wrote about on July 28, 2010. Or the subject of today's story.
On September 25, 2010, I met a girl in Washington Square Park. She, like many of us, was captivated by the music jams that dot the park on a Saturday night. She brandished a harmonica - a welcome but not-so-common instrument. I learned that she was an NYU student. This was unusual - although students utilize the park as their de facto campus and a few do occasionally observe the music and cultural happenings there, they rarely participate and interact with park habitues.
This is very understandable, as the mix of regulars is as broad a group as imaginable, with many dicey characters - excons and drug addicts are well-blended in any grouping.
Her unbridled enthusiasm knew no bounds, and in spite of the large age gap between us, we had many common interests. We became friends quickly and socialized regularly, typically meeting in the park. Our conversations never got old. We listened to and played music together. I introduced her to all the park regulars and friends whom I had made over the years. Soon, a number of us took her under our wing, warning her of the dangers and creeps, keeping a watchful eye out for what was essentially an innocent teenager who quickly and willingly became our little girl.
She took an immediate interest in this blog, which became an important connection between us. We discussed stories, both past and future, and she accompanied me on photo excursions. She became my biggest supporter, eventually to work on the website with me. Her memory of my stories is frightening - virtually photographic.
However, for most outsiders, her large fan base is very puzzling: Why would 65 adults turn up for a party for a college student? Why would an 18-19-year-old girl be a household name around Washington Square Park? What the hell is so special about a 19-year-old NYU student? And the biggest question EVERYONE asks: why would she practically shun her peers and befriend so many people more than three times her age? The answers are quite simple. In Part 2, you will learn the answers and meet this Remarkable Woman :)
Related Posts: Myra's Isle, When Brian Met Sally, Just Like Old Times, Park Night