Friday, September 9, 2011


Music has had such a big place in my life, and I forget that sometimes.

My mom had been taught the basics of music at a young age by her grandmother. She had a lovely baby grand piano that was always a part of our lives, except for the three years we were overseas. What was remarkable was that she could hear any song, say on the radio, and sit down and play it. With all the chords.

Now this was not instantaneous, she sometimes had to think it through and work it out. But still, I was always impressed by that talent, and enjoyed a lot of the music she produced.

I married a gal (Mildred) who had been playing the piano in public since she was 11 years old. She had never had the time or the inclination to become, say, a concert pianist, though I have no doubt she could have. She loved her music, and the piano that I got from my aunt Mary's estate became a fixture in our home. She played it until it fell apart and we bought a new one.

Near the end of her life she was the ward organist, at a great personal cost. By that time her whole body was in pain, but especially her hands and her back. She still wouldn't give up playing the organ in church every Sunday, but paid a big price for it for the next day or two.

I married another gal (Sally) who had been singing in public for just about as long. She grew up on the island of Bermuda and as a young adult there sung in night clubs and such.

Sally still has a beautiful voice, one that I don't get to hear very often. But recently some friends have scooped her up into an ensemble they are putting together to sing what they call Magic Songs. These are songs that are memorable and emotional.

The first practice we had was just Sally and the cellist (and organizer), Scott Davis. I was coopted into being the narrator for the presentation. The songs he had picked out so far all seem to have a high emotional charge for me, mostly because of what was going on in my life at the time each was popular.

But most of all I was enchanted, once again, with Sally's voice. It's definitely not the voice of an 18-year-old, but that of a mature woman. Yet it has an ageless quality about it that makes me almost able to see her as she was at that age. If quality is any part of success (which I don't think it is most times, not in that industry), she could have been at the top of the charts in her day.

Mostly though, the passion for singing has been reawakened, and that is good. She has been giggling more, and practicing a lot, and is really happy. She is able to shift her load off her shoulders for a time and just be happy.

I have to say that in an odd way, I fell in love with her because of her voice. The first time we ever spoke on the phone (we were brought together by an internet site) I fell, and knew she was the one. Singing to each other became part of our courtship, though I know she got the short end of that stick.