Late-Romantic Austrian composer Gustav Mahler

A Sold-Out Concert That Was Not To Be Missed

Good things come to those who are chatty

Travel writer Bonnie Wach tells the story of her mother Micky, now 89, who has been a fan of classical music since childhood. Micky’s father’s passion for the music of Austrian late-Romantic composer Gustav Mahler was passed down to Micky, and shaped Bonnie’s childhood as well. “Mahler was his favorite, and mom always loved it and listened to it. We used to have symphony tickets all the time when they were doing Mahler,” Bonnie told Good Turns recently.

Some tickets are harder to get than others, though, and when Micky Wach went to the box office at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco to get a seat for a performance of Mahler’s beautiful and imposing Second Symphony a few years back, she found the house sold out. Rather than resign herself to missing the concert, though, Micky struck up a conversation with the box office clerk.

“She lucks into things, and part of it is because she has no compunction about talking to strangers.”

“She was telling him how her dad had taken her to see it, and that she hadn’t seen it since the Israeli Philharmonic had done it,” Bonnie recalls. “And out of the blue this guy came up to her and said, I have this extra ticket, do you want it? I want you to have it. And he gave her a center-section ticket at the front of the orchestra. It was one of those miracle tickets.”

The good samaritan at the symphony was never seen again. For Micky, though, he was only one in a series of strangers willing to befriend her in one way or another. According to Bonnie, “She does this with everything. She lucks into things, and part of it is because she has no compunction about talking to strangers, which is a source of endless embarrassment to me.”

“She inherently believes in the goodness of people,” Bonnie says of her mother. “Plus, she’s a sweet little old lady, so people don’t mess with her.”

It’s that belief in the goodness of people that we celebrate with Good Turns. We don’t usually celebrate it in the recipient of a good turn, of course — but we’re no less pleased to find it there.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jeremy Sutcliffe)

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