Uptown Unplugged had its largest crowd so far on the Royal City plaza at 6th & 6th, from noon to 2 today. I told ‘some of you’ about Emma Toth…words may fail me here, but stay with me, please..
Five years ago, when Emma was nine, Eileen Kernaghan directed her parents to me as a tutor for writing. Most of our time together, we tried to finish Emma’s short stories. Sometimes we talked about poetry. Emma & her family (all delightful) came to Poetic Justice, where Emma presented her poems on open mic.
Over the years, I saw them now & then at various local open mics. This summer I made it down to the Old Crow on Front St for their very popular open mic, which has been held on third or fourth Thursdays. Fourteen-year-old Emma surprised me as she presented two songs that she had written herself, accompanying herself on guitar!
Her maturity astonished me.
Shortly after that I made sure that they knew about Songwriters Open Mic, first Tuesdays in the Heritage Grill Back Room. I’m not a regular, but knowing they planned to go, I went & got us a corner table. Emma’s name was late on the schedule…usually performers do two songs…Emma was indecisive. “New Rule”- those under fifteen could do three songs if they wanted to. To use a cliche, Emma brought the house down. Mom Jody (Jodie?) introduced me as Emma’s ‘poetry tutor’ (or was it ‘mentor’?). My jaw dropped even further. Emma had written thirty songs already.
I was told of Emma’s two-hour gig at Uptown Unplugged today. Front row seat for me, please… The host & setup man, Randy, said it was the largest crowd. I was pleased that Eileen & Pat Kernaghan could join us. Emma’s dad, Paul, said after that he hoped I’d heard myself in Emma’s work. I said, no. NO. I’m more in awe than anyone and so thrilled that this (adorable) talented family remembers me this way.
Big happy face here.