Cannonball Jane

Whenever I hear the name Jane I can’t help thinking about a high school friend of mine (spelled “Jayne”). She was one of maybe three people from my school I hung out with my senior year. When I attended a reunion recently my wife asked me, not facetiously, “Are you even going to know anyone here?” The only person I could think of was Jayne, but I knew she wouldn’t be there. Like me, Jayne was slightly anti-social. As I expected, no Jayne. But you know how high school reunions put you in that nostalgic mood/mode? Thus affected, I did some internet sleuthing and actually tracked Jayne down, an entire continent away, hoping to say hello and catch up. I left two awkward voice messages (it’s impossible to sound casual, as if I hadn’t talked to her for a week when in fact it had been years). Did Jayne call back? Nope. Made me feel even more awkward, like I was some creepy internet stalker!

I think if Jayne’s personality were more like Cannonball Jane’s music we would’ve had a nice conversation, shared a few good laughs, and traded our latest listens and reads. See, Cannonball Jane is playful, colourful (Jayne was from England—she made me use British spellings), and obviously up for some fun. By day Cannonball Jane teaches elementary school. By night Jane, aka Sharon Hagopian, fires up the beatbox, guitars, synths and gadgets and records a groovin’ pastiche of hip hop, new wave, and sixties pop. A mix of Soul Coughing and Luscious Jackson, Mary Tyler Moore and Solex. This is the kind of woman I’d trust to educate my children and school me in the ways of beats and breaks and dance party extravaganzas. Hey, sounds a lot like Alisa, the woman I married. Who, by the way, tracked down one of her old high school friends during a reunion year. And he called her back! Who wouldn’t? She’s fun like that.

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