Arlina and I spent a few days in Portland Oregon on our first trip together back in 1990. One day our friends took us to the Saturday Market, a giant flea market at the edge of downtown. We came across a pianist tucked away in a corner, playing a beat-up old piano. His name was Paul Immanuel Owens. We liked his music and bought a cassette, which we listened to almost all the way down the coast.
When I was back in Portland at the beginning of my trip this summer, I headed back to the Saturday Market on my way out of town. Paul Owens was still there, tucked away in a corner, playing a beat-up old piano. There was something about him still being there, still playing after all these years, that moved me in a way I can't articulate.
"I'm back," I said.
I bought a CD of his music and listened to it as I crossed the prairie.
edit: i found this article about him after I posted this. The article was published yesterday!