pitch pipe resurrection


Three years ago a great man was planning his 80th birthday celebration. He wanted creative control and had his own ideas about how the evening should be spent.

Everyone come in Sunday best. I have prepared an address I will be giving. We will not play games, and after the cake I would like everyone to quietly go home after giving me a big hug.

The family all showed up on time and were greeted by the man in his sear-sucker suit. They all walked into the living room where there were chairs and even a podium ready for the event.

Deep feelings shared. Love of the Lord. Love of family. Geneology. Tears.

And then came the gifts. A line of 12 grandchildren who had been secretly prepared to stand in front of this man they adored to recite Emerson quotes by memory. All of this to honor the man's love of his work. Hours spent standing in line on ships in the south Pacific during WWII reading Emerson front to back. The book now sits on a son's bookshelf as a constant reminder of a father's love and his interest in fine literature.

And then one final gift from the oldest grandson. After finding an old musical score in the old man's den, this grandson set about, with his father's help, to transfer the notes from the page to a digital recording. A composition never before heard. Never performed. Written while living on a metal mansion floating off the coast of Japan, composed entirely with a pitch pipe. Multiple parts for multiple instruments. In a manilla envelope for over 60 years, a silent symphony. This grandson turned on the cd player and sat down in time to see the color change in his grandfather's face. Remembrance within seconds. An internal recollection. First time alive.

12 comments

Melanie J | March 4, 2009 at 10:58 PM

Wow.

Lara | March 4, 2009 at 11:00 PM

Absolutely amazing...and tear inducing.

Heidi Ashworth | March 4, 2009 at 11:13 PM

Oh, how lovely! How wonderful! Is he still alive? My dad is 82 . . .oh how he would love something like that to happen to him (he would have had to make the composition first though I suspect)

CHERRANNE | March 5, 2009 at 12:49 AM

TOO COOL, KAZ! Great story!

Midge | March 5, 2009 at 7:50 AM

Beautiful. What a treasure.

Luann | March 5, 2009 at 10:23 AM

I love this story. And midge is right, family treasures just don't get better than this.

LisAway | March 5, 2009 at 12:20 PM

What Melanie and Lara said. This is just so neat. I sort of wish I'd been there.

Debbie | March 5, 2009 at 1:20 PM

That is an amazing story. Thank you for telling us.

That Girl in Brazil | March 5, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Words fail me.

....

Yup, still gone.

I love the way you think, lady.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel | March 5, 2009 at 7:07 PM

I got goose bumps. This is beautiful. Made me tearful because it made me think of my grandpa. He did his part during World War II in his part of the world. They truly are a great generation.

wendy | March 6, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Wow --what a priceless, wonderful --are no words to describe--gift.

Always a Southern Girl | March 7, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Awesome story! Thanks for sharing it with!--take care