Then it was time for my simultaneous debut and farewell tour. The performers were two boys, 25 teenage girls who sang like angels and were in that first blossoming of young womanhood, and me. When Deborah introduced me I thought I would feel faint, but I had come to the conclusion that it would only be two awful minutes out of everyone's life, and I calmly took my place in front of the piano. The crowd of about 120 looked back expectantly.
And how was it? Who cares! I did it! It's over! As I sang—not as well as I had in the car, but not the worst I'd ever done—the audience's faces seemed to wear a collective expression of half-amused torment. (Listen to the whole song
When I got back to my seat my daughter took my hand. "Good job, Mom," she whispered.
"Was I off tune?" I whispered back.
"Yes, Mom. But it was still OK."