old age


Eileen’s  back started bothering her on Wednesday this week. By yesterday it was hurting so badly that she made an appointment with a massage therapist. I think it helped her but she is still hurting a bit.

Last night walking from my car to the rehearsal room at Zeeland City Middle School. I somehow managed to fall on the pavement. I was hurrying and had too much forward motion and misjudged my ability to pull out of it. Before I knew it I was on the ground. I scraped my knee in a couple of places. Another musician helped me gather my stuff. Fortunately my two devices, phone and tablet, which I was carrying escaped unscathed. Not so the old guy. I was hurrying to get to rehearsal a bit early to download the manual for the silly keyboard I am playing and see if I could turn off the reverb. I did manage to find the manual online.  There were instructions about adjusting the reverb, but after I appeared to have set it to zero it persisted in all the stops I used. As the conductor said about the harp stop, “It is what it is.”

This morning I got up with some new aches and pains. Apparently I hit my side and my right hand on the pavement. Nothing fractured, but I am sore. At least this way I will have an excuse if my playing is not stellar tonight. I’m actually expecting it to go pretty well.

Eileen is dragging today. I went to the Farmers Market and grocery store by myself. I move faster that way any way. After lunch we went and said hi to Mom, then to the church for some quick prep for tomorrow morning. Eileen helped me with the hymn boards while I practiced the prelude,  opening hymn, psalm, and postlude. Then we drove to First Reformed Church to sit in on a rehearsal of Charlie Parker string recordings being played live by Jordan VanHemert and company.



Jordan has hired these guys to play tomorrow at First Reformed Church services.

It was fun to hear this amazing music live. Apparently the string parts from these recordings were obtained by someone who put them into a notation software.

These recordings have a special meaning for me because they are the first recordings I heard of Charlie Parker. A young woman in my Dad’s church in Tennessee, Jessica Devoti by name, gave my parents a recording of them. This would make it at least before 1963 when we moved away from Tennessee to Flint, Michigan.


Eileen and I stayed for about an hour listening. The group included Nathan Walker on bass and Graeme Richmond on cello. Nathan, Jordan, and I have worked together since they were in high school. Now all three men are degreed musicians with Nathan and Jordan working on graduate degrees. It’s satisfying to watch people that I know continue on in music and play so well.


I’m home now, planning to rest and maybe practice a bit before this evening’s performance.

This recording it s one of the tunes we heard today. Iand the other ones that Jordan’s group is playing were not on my old record. But they are from the same sessions.

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