Monday, May 1st, 2017

I started clarinet lessons in 4th grade. Fast forward 8 years. When I was graduated from high school (1949) I had played most all of the single-reed woodwinds. Going into my senior year, in the fall of 1948, I auditioned and was accepted for the b-flat and e-flat alto clarinet player in the St. Louis […]

I know, I should have some photos to go with this, but on my summer evening one mile walks I am often surprised by the images that pop up in my mind. Let me explain. I’m ambling along down tree-shaded 22nd street, enjoying the soft summer breeze, when a couple drives by in a convertible. […]

My town is a musical town. One of its traditions is the Quincy Park Band, and one sure sign of summer is the appearance of the Park District’s mobile band shell next to the tennis courts in Madison Park. This past Sunday was a typical warm summer evening for an hour’s band music from 6:30 […]

I was raised in an age of comparative innocence. I remember going into the Barber Shop near downtown Topeka, Kansas, as a nine- or ten-year old boy, still wet behind the ears as they say, and encountering my first Negro. (The things one remembers! And only because I happened to call for a haircut appointment […]

Since mankind (I refuse to say humankind) has always sliced the inexorable passage of time into four-season packages, and since package #2011 is drawing to a merciful end, and since I now find myself at our Lake of the Ozarks hideaway with time to ponder, please humor me by reading a few public ponderings. When […]

I might as well ‘fess up. It’s the glitter that gets me. Like that fraud on TV, I just like the heavy feel of a fistful of gold coins. I wish I had more of ’em. I wish I had the Midas touch, except perhaps when reading Acts 20:33. I remember, back in the 1980s, […]

Are classical music lovers a dying breed? I have no idea of course, but I do know that all over the country all-classical FM radio stations are changing their broadcasting format from classical to contemporary rock or (even worse) talk-talk-talk. I understand that many cities now have no classical music stations. KFUO-FM in St. Louis, […]

That is the title of a book I am reading by Frederick Kempe. It triggered memories of my inexplicable recall to Army active duty in the fall of 1961. I knew I was part of a largely symbolic recall of reservists because of the Berlin Crisis, but that’s where my knowledge stopped. I had little […]

Larry opines in a recent email (and if the link doesn’t work, blame Larry): Aw, you just have to hear this: Der Bingle The song was an early effort by Irving Berlin. What appealed to me was the relaxed and cordial back-and-forth conversation between Crosby and Jolson, between verses. This song takes me back to […]

Imagine a cane pole with a young boy on one end and a yard or so of line tied to the other, the line leading to a grasshopper impaled on a fishhook. A wandering creek lined with trees yielding mottled shade under a hot Kansas sun completes the scene. Can’t imagine that? Well, I can. […]