Thursday, July 9, 2015

     















     Every Fathers Day and Birthday, I write about my father who is playing the piano and singing “Till We Meet Again” up in Heaven. I know he is looking down with pride on me and my girls, but I sure wish I could see him—even Ciel-Skype him, but alas, c’est impossible.

     July 10, 1916, was the day Chet came into the world. Hard to imagine your father as a screaming infant, but knowing my Dad, he was probably harmonizing with the nurse who was humming while she wrapped him in some blue blanket.  

     Every time I sit down at the piano (which is daily), I can’t help but think of my Dad. The piano was his best friend next to his 12-wood:) If he wasn’t at the keyboard, he was on the
links whistling some tune as he wrote another 4 on his scorecard. Daddy and I harmonized for many hours, many years as he taught me all the Michael Bublé standards (some of you don’t remember Frank Sinatra). Actually, we are headed to Wolf Trap at the end of the month to hear Diana Krull sing some of them. My Dad would have loved her.

     Chet played the piano by ear. He would sit for hours playing his oom-pah-pah base notes with his multi-chord treble singing along in his beautiful baritone voice. I did enjoy a few years of playing professional cocktail piano at fancy restaurants, so the standards came in handy, but I really don’t like them; I’d rather play my classical pieces. He loved those, and as he got older, he would always get teary-eyed when I played for him.

     He doesn’t know that I am preparing my second one-woman show featuring the music of Claude Debussy. He only liked the “showy” pieces I played, so Debussy wasn’t his favorite, but as I recall, Clair de Lune was one he did enjoy. “Showy” pieces were those where my fingers went faster than the speed of sound. I no longer aspire to show off; I prefer to make beautiful music. If people think I am an average pianist, they would be right, but that’s just fine, as my dreams of Carnegie Hall are just that.

     Dad probably snuck in some vodka up there, although he didn’t drink much as he got older. He stopped cold turkey in his late 80s saying it was affecting his memory. In reality, he was experiencing early signs of Alzheimer disease. None of us ever considered that. 

     We have seven grandchildren. I pray that at least one of them will inherit his musical gene. We can’t force it on anyone, and they don’t have to perform, but if just one enjoys singing or playing an instrument, I will be thrilled. So far, we have three super jocks, three actresses and a tiny lawyer. I have heard some wonderful singing from the most introverted, so we will see where it all goes. 

     In the meantime, I am wondering if my step-Mom is jealous. Daddy may be up there cavorting with my Mom and having family dinners with my grandparents and my aunt who recently joined them. Who knows? It’s all such a mystery. I must write a song about this.