A Love Letter to the Tuesday Morning Delinquents

By Judy Slattery | Mar 27, 2014
Judy Slattery

I’m in love with The Delinquents--those wonderfully casual and humble musicians who play every Tuesday morning at the Edmonds Senior Center.

They lug their heavy musical instruments in from the rainy parking lot and set up their own chairs in the Senior Center. Sometimes they have to sit on pillows because the chairs are too low or their backs hurt. There is no spot light, no introduction, no fanfare.  They just sit down and play.

And they can play anything: Jazz, Dixieland, Swing. Their repertoire seems endless. If you want to hear “Danny Boy,” they will play “Danny Boy.” It doesn’t matter what they play or how perfectly they play it. It’s the real thing, and I love them for it.

One Tuesday, when The Delinquents were in full swing, I thought a woman was speaking to me. I moved closer, so I could hear what she was saying and realized she wasn’t speaking to me after all. She was singing to herself. The Delinquents had stirred memories deep inside, and she was lost in some happy spot from her past.

Sometimes you see a gray-haired person do an unexpected two-step on the way to the coffee bar or a tired leg suddenly not so tired, tapping out irresistible rhythms. Sometimes, couples just get up to dance, in the middle of the day. Because when The Delinquents play, you forget what time it is or what year it is or how old you are. Your heart takes off to whatever spot it wants to go.

I’m at the Senior Center Tuesday mornings because I take the gentle yoga class, held in the center’s library. We yoga ladies aim for relaxation and concentration. We’re getting pretty good at both. Until... we hear the Pink Panther Theme. It creeps across the lobby and slips under our closed door. It doesn’t belong in yoga... and yet, like the Pink Panther himself, here it is – all smiles. And who can concentrate on breathing deeply in the middle of a musical hug? We collapse in giggles.

You have to love those Delinquents.

Thank you, Delinquents.  In case we never told you, you make Tuesday mornings at the Edmonds Senior Center very special.

And we love you.

Judy Slattery is a retired teacher and early childhood advocate. Her writings include a manual for early childhood education providers.


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