Last time I shared with you one of the main reasons I became a music teacher. But the other major and true reason involved a tragic event in my young life. Something that is still hard to talk about…. It was the summer between my 4th and 5th grade years – a season that is supposed to be filled with happy moments and times. Our subdivision was brand new and since it was just being built – there weren’t many homes and certainly not many neighbors back then. My next-door neighbor, Jay, was my best friend. Okay…he was the only other kid around and was the same age as me. We played, laughed, rode our bikes all over the area and walked over a mile (one way) for an ice cream cone. It was “safer” back in those days. But our favorite thing to do was to listen to ”records.” Being so young I didn’t have many albums that weren’t audio “stories” with books. But Jay an I listened to an album by a certain “group” who was popular with children our age. We listened to it over and over and over again. When another family moved into the area (they had five kids) we would pretend to be the “group” and fake-play and lip sync to that music for family barbecues. Our poor parents-LOL!! But oh, the happy and fun times filled with joyous “sounds” that included much laughter.
One day, Jay went to a swimming pool with his brothers. A bad storm front was moving in, and the pool decided to close, so Jay and his brothers decided to walk home. While walking home a flash of lightning struck Jay. I knew nothing about this until that night when my mom told me….. Jay had been struck by lighting and…he was in a coma. I was only nine (I was always one of the youngest in my class) and didn’t understand what that (coma) meant. But when I did, I cried and cried and cried. I’ll save the “spiritual” stuff for possibly another time. This event, at this time in my life, and what happened afterwards, shaped and molded me into the teacher and person I have been ever since. This was my first glimpse into how powerful music could be…to be continued….