Not too long ago, my son took me grocery shopping.
Unless you meet someone interesting in the store, this can pretty boring, right? An essential task we all face, but not something that we generally find energizing or fun. At least this is what I thought until this particular shopping trip.
I’ve been dealing with a painful arthritic back and knowing there’s a Sunset Food Store in Libertyville that offers an area in the store where shoppers may sit and enjoy a sandwich and beverage, we went to Libertyville. I usually shop at the Lake Forest Sunset, a store I like very much, so this was a bit unusual.
Imagine our surprise when we were greeted by the bouncing rhythms of a jazz trio when we entered the store. Free libations and snacks added to the festive atmosphere. My son and I seated ourselves at a table and soon learned that the store was celebrating its 75th anniversary. What fun!
The trio included two pianos, both standard and electronic, and they were played with such verve and enthusiasm that I began tapping my feet as soon as I sat down. The third member of the group, a young man, expertly rounded out the sound with an infectious bass guitar.
It wasn’t long before shoppers seated themselves around the musicians and shared their appreciation for the unique entertainment.
And when my son rejoined me after filling our grocery cart, he reported that the happy music could be heard throughout the store. By then I had been joined by another shopper of “a certain age” and we two were having a great time bopping in rhythm to “Bye Bye Blackbird”!
Before leaving I inquired about the identity of our fabulous entertainers and found out the keyboards were played by Rita and Scott Meland.
Mr. Meland, I later learned, had been our grandson’s music director at the Jr.High in Lake Forest more than a few years ago, a man held in high esteem by one and all. It was a happy circumstance to finally meet him and his talented wife.
In fact, the whole shopping experience was a happy circumstance, and I hope the trio returns in the near future. Sunset should be congratulated for stepping out of the mold and introducing the community to jazzy grocery shopping. Who knows how this could catch on?
Hey, who knows, maybe this could even go viral?????