The principal suggested therapy -- it must have been free -- at the Judge Baker Foundation in
A few years ago, my friend Mary wrote on her impressive University letterhead to the Foundation and secured the transcripts of my interviews. Reading them over, I was surprised to see that The Depression was like another member of our family. A clarinet reed cost 25 cents, the instruction book cost 25 cents, and the family was discussing – which should we buy first?
The school lent me an instrument that was antique even for those days – a one-piece metal clarinet. I could join the junior high band as soon as I’d memorized the third clarinet part to “Military Escort” – I remember it to this day.
But what I started out to tell you was that my clarinet teacher told me he’d been playing in the band at the PanAmerican Exposition in Buffalo when President McKinley was shot. I had a vague feeling that meant he was extremely old. Recently figured he might have been in his 20s that day in
Some years ago I joined a seniors ensemble sponsored by the Eastman School of Music, a group eventually named the New Horizons Band. That always sounded to me like a drug re-hab group -- I had proposed The Grateful Living. Anyhow -- some years after that I found my embouchure was going the way of all the other muscles, back hurt sitting in rehearsal, hearing was threatened by the trumpets, and brain started hearing music as jumbled cacophony.
End of my musical career. My clarinets ended up on eBay, all but one -- my granddaughter has it in Vancouver. She didn't need a teacher -- you can learn an instrument these days just by watching YouTube.