When you think of October, you think of Halloween. And with Halloween, you think of witches, pumpkins and owls. And so, we are making a very talented family of owls our Birds of the Month for October. They are the rock-a-billiest, hootin' and hollerin'est family of musical owls the world has ever known and they are performing their big hootenanny extravaganza this very evening at the Kimmel Center. I stopped by their trailer to chat with them before the big show.
Louise: Hello Owls! Clarence, would you introduce your family to our readers?
Clarence: Why hey there! I'm the papa, Charlene (my wife) is the mama and our three owlets are Buster, Mavis and Muffy. We love to screech and hoot and holler!
L: I'm well aware of that. I just listened to your latest release and I'm telling you, it was life changing. I mean, I'm deaf in one ear now!
CL: Sorry for any residual damage, but don't worry. Charlene here is a registered nurse and Baxter is studying Qijong, so we're gonna' fix you up real good. You'll be alright by tomorrow.
L: OK, but I just want to warn those attending your concert tonight to bring ear plugs or cotton wool for your ears. Listening to these owls unprotected is like staring into a solar eclipse without eye protectors. Not the smartest thing to do.
Charlene: My goodness Weezie. Aren't you over-reacting just a bit?
L: Perhaps. I get a little dramatic at times. But enough about me, what I'd like to know is how did you find your sound?
CL: We always sing together around the nest. Why, all the owlets had perfect pitch when they busted out of their eggs. And Charlene and I were a duo before they came along. We called ourselves the CC Hooters. We played state fairs, hullabaloos and any rooftop that had an audience. We were a big draw in our day.
L: After the 60's and 70's, the folk scene died out and hootenannies were rare.
CL: Not in the Southern woods of the Carolinas where we're from. But we wanted to spread our sound to other areas where our music isn't heard much. That's why we booked a ten state tour, Philadelphia being the first venue.
L: And I know the owlets add much to your performances.
CL: That's true. You get the right owl and you'll get the right sound. And each one of these kids is just right!
L: Do you think your youngsters will carry on as a trio when you and Charlene retire, or, God forbid, go to the great owl ranch in the sky?
CL: Lordy yes. We've always enjoyed being in the public eye. Did you know my grandpappy was the model for the Wise Potato Chip bag?
Buster: Uh, Pops, I'd really like to go into Law.
Mavis & Muffy (chirping in tandem): And we want to become astronauts!
L: Oops! I can see the owlets have other ideas about their future. Perhaps they're not happy continuing in the family business?
CL: They are happy, damnit! Don't let nobody tell you otherwise. And now, we've gotta get ready for our gig.
And with that, the interview ended and Clarence, Charlene and the Owlets saw me through the door and then slammed it shut. I could hear hoots and chatters in the trailer. Whether or not they were warm-up practice routines or sounds of parental dissatisfaction, I'll never know. Either way, it looks like I ruffled a few feathers this time.