Ralph Maillelle keeps his harmonica in his pocket.
It’s a $5 instrument he bought from Mammoth Music. He learned to play when he was a boy growing up in Anvik. When he heard the music and saw the dancers at the Mountain View Street Fair Jam Saturday, he couldn’t help but take the mic from the MC and belt out a tune.
“He’s an artist,” says his wife, Teresa Balkovic.
A prep cook at the neighborhood German restaurant, Maillelle writes poetry, too. He knows his rhymes by heart. Standing in the parking lot after his impromptu harmonica performance, he recited a poem he calls “Snowflakes.”
Falling silently in the night,
Landing softly beyond mere sight.
A thing so fragile and so small,
Be so big as to cover all.
His wife smiled.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?”