South Central WI Archive
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2010
Written by 

The music of the streets — Listening to the oneness of us all

He was my son and he knew the streets.

Knew those men.

Was often one of them himself.

It was his choice really.

He did not need to live there,

Usually had a job and a place to sleep.

Sometimes salvation was a bed at the Sally (Salvation Army).

Or in good times, a place of his own.

Till drink would bring him down

To a thin mattress for months on end

In a green-walled cell.

But ever the street and its stories would call him back.

To the homeless, the drifters.

The dealers. The drunks.

The guys without work...

And the men who might never hold a job.

To stand on a corner of town

Whenever he could,

Weather permitting.

No judgement.

Just a banjo and a song

For the men on the street

And a steady gaze that would look them in the eye.

He played the music of hard times

Of choices. Of hope.

Not hope as the world hopes

But of the hope of the soul.

Till his last words to us, “Keep it Real.”

Laid a reminder to never sell out, no matter what

And know that under the bundled coats of the street

And its winter chill

We are all one.

I try to remember that,

But when I forget

It helps if I look into the eyes

Of those men on the street.

~In memory of Banjo Marty 1966-2005

My son, Marty, lived hard and passed from the complications of alcohol and diabetes at age 39. He was ever the musical ambassador to the streets to be remembered for his pluck and the soul stories in his song.

Cecilia Farran

Cecilia Farran owns 43/90 North Earth Gifts, in Spring Green, a full service source for new thought and spiritual support. “Sedona’s Story”, as well as 1000s other informative book titles await the browser in the new Wisdom Oak Reading Room. Kim Starr-Shutter will be present in person on Friday May 1 as the featured presenter in the monthly series “Play at Our Place.” 7 p.m. North Earth is located at 136 South Albany St. in the Albany Shops Courtyard, Spring Green, across from the General Store & Cafe. For more information about 43/90 North Earth, see this month’s ad, event listings or visit RSVPs appreciated. Call 608-588-3313 or [email protected]

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