Does anyone out there take the time to pay it forward? I think a future write-in topic should be stories about how we influence the younger generations with our love of music.
Member Patrick Kelly of Centreville, MD writes: my first musical experience was…Liberace’ at the Painter’s Mill Music Hall. I was a little kid and my parents wanted to instill some exposure to more classical arts and, my Mom being a huge classical music enthusiast since childhood, felt this would be a worthwhile effort. No, it’s not classical music per se but over the years the significance of that evening has proved a touchstone to thinking outside the box.
Mom grew up in coal-country Morgantown, West Virginia…daughter of a coal miner barely scraping by when she got a part time job at the local grocer. I still have pics of her as a little girl in her ONE dress she owned and rag-doll…yes, it was mostly rags. The shop owner was a classical music enthusiast and when she heard it…it was the most beautiful thing she ever heard and was a fan for life. She wanted me to have one of those “wow” experiences, and face it, Liberace’ was a REAL experience.
I’ve explored many musical tastes over the years, from blues and bluegrass to a long-time deep love of most extreme and popular heavy metal and still love them all. But strangely enough classical-style was at the start and where I’ve returned now turning 50 yrs old. I owe much of this to Mom and Dad dragging me to see Liberace’ as a kid…and endearing the appreciation of classical music today and my continued sponsorship of WBJC. I owe all this to Mom, and I annually subscribe in her memory and eternal thanks, love and gratitude.
Is there a dark and tragic side? Yes; that of my Dad being handicapped with damaged hearing after a bout of scarlet fever as a child; he could never hear the beauty of classical music especially in his final days when I was to learn he was entirely deaf, so Mom had to instill the arts for BOTH of them.
Member Andy Kochis writes: I was maybe 8 to 10 years old. My parents took my brother and me to see family in the Boston area from where we lived in Maine. We first visited my aunt and uncle in Brighton. My uncle, an amazing man who came to the United States with only $7.00 in his pocket, and who left his only possession, a goat, behind when he boarded the ship for the journey. He was loving and kind and jovial. Self-taught, he was a founder of the Boston Ethical Society and played violin in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He looked at us kids (my brother was about a year younger than me), and said, “Would you like to hear a violin cry?” He started to play the sweetest, sadder, and saddest notes — not even a melody — you could ever hear. Tears streamed down my face. I’ll be 70 years old this year and that day in Brighton will never be forgotten.