A boy remembers Toscanini's last visit to Richmond
After Respighi the encores, and the last: Dixie in the Mosque! Oh, we cheered that encore, when a god stooped to enter our house and eat at our table. That night my father said he rolled down the Appian Way through all the fountains right into Richmond. True, the papers said he stepped down soon after. But when he threw that baton and shouted it sailed like a songbird. For us he could see all the way to Rome. That palisade of notes he directed as the sun shines over ruins to march every Caesar's legion once again. True, he used a little table salt and we fell in like rabbits in a box. Dixie in the Mosque! Beside the backstage exit light we waited to cheer more. A top hat and a white face if you stood on your tiptoes, you saw our tired Maestro headed to the limousine moving as though he were on wheels through the heads of the dark crowd.