Tuesday, February 21, 2017

An overwhelming Thank You for a street musician

Kasey McCurdy has passed through the Des Moines skywalk regularly for years. This takes him past a number of street musicians, including one whose booming voice and happy demeanor often caught McCurdy's attention.

One day, he stopped and asked the musician if he could film him with some new camera equipment he'd gotten. The musician, Randy Kong, agreed and McCurdy filmed him for several months. He followed Kong to a home where he'd been serenading a terminally ill person weekly for months. He learned that Kong used to play in shock metal bands and that now, Kong plays for the love of the music, positive uplifting music which reflects his upbeat attitude toward life. He is grateful for every dollar tossed into his open guitar case and interrupts his song to thank the generous passerby.

One day last fall, Kong was gone from his usual skywalk gig. When days passed and Kong did not return, McCurdy became concerned. He did some digging and learned Kong had suffered some serious medical problems and was hospitalized.

Last week, Kong was finally well enough to return to the skywalk he loves. McCurdy had a surprise for him. Via Facebook, he organized a Thank You event to support Kong and his music. Hundreds of people turned out at lunchtime on Friday to listen, applaud, and toss their donations into Kong's guitar case.

An uplifting tribute to someone who lifts the spirits of strangers.

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