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Greg and Steve in pumpkin patch


Welcome to my memories. Memories are like clouds, don't you think? Perceptions of clouds are as varied as the perceiver, as are memories.

Wisps of concsiousness drifting through the ether. Dewdrop suspended; hovering mist. Cloud-shape clinging to perception as reveries of the past. I present my current collection of neuron stimulations. What was once, shall be again and nevermore.

Lord, God, take my ego. I don't want it no more.

Music is my mistress

Duke Ellington said that first, but it is/was definitive of the first 30 years of my life.

Both my father and mother had music training when they were young. My father played bass and sousaphone. As he recalls: “I think I was in 8th grade when some friends of mine were talking about starting a dance band. They needed a bass player so I decided to take up the bass. A friend of my mother’s had this old bass that he no longer played and offered to sell it to me. So, I bought it, took a few lessons and became a bass player. I continued to play the bass horn (sousaphone) in Jr. High and High School. Our dance band, the Stardusters took off and we played school dances around the area. We became pretty good and were generally invited back. The rest of the band were a year ahead of me so in my senior year I had to find other groups to play with.

One summer, I'm not sure which, I heard of a gig somewhere on the Fox River, so I applied. I spent I think, two nights a week playing with “Elmo and his Smokey Mountain Boys”. It was different...
After college, I played with a trio, two older guys and me, playing weddings etc around the Chicago area. …

As far as my school band playing, I started out on cornet in 3rd or 4th grade. When I got to 7th, the director offered to have me switch to sousaphone with an offer of a free horn, lessons and a move up to the Senior band. My cornet playing was not that good and he needed a sousaphone player. I continued thru High School.

Grandma (Helen Davis) was a pianist, as you know. She was instrumental in getting the Elmhurst Symphony started and supported it for many years. She was an accomplished accompanist and did a lot of that as well as the orchestra. Grandpa (William S. Davis) had no known musical talent.”

One other story: While carrying his bass to a gig one snowy night, Dad slipped on some ice. Gravity being what it was back then, he knew that falling was in his future. A choice lay before him, as well as the sidewalk. Bass on top, or bass on bottom? Of course, being the sensible musician that he was, he ended up on the bottom, with no damage to the bass. The resulting damage to his knee later made him ineligible to vacation in Korea at the Army’s expense. This may have saved his life and thus had a significant impact on mine.
He was (and still is) a fan of Dixieland jazz and contemporary Big Bands – Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and Stan Kenton.

note  1963, page2  note  the Bands  note


Excellence is not an act...but a habit
- Aristotle

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Greg and Steve in pumpkin patch
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