|My talented husband, second from the right|
It's that time again, the anniversary of my husband's death and a time to pause and remember. Have I already told you that we met at college after I decided to join the Jazz Band our junior year? I don't know what possessed me to answer the call in the student bulletin for a saxophone player, and I tried to talk the conductor out of accepting me (don't own an instrument, never played jazz), but he poo pooed all my excuses and before I knew it, I had a school sax and a folder of music to brush up on before the first rehearsal. My time in the jazz band turned out to be the highlight of my college experiences, even if Allen had not decided to set his sights on me and eventually propose.
|Love this shot of him (on the right) where he's counting off his rests|
Truth be told, I actually had my sights set on two trombone players in the band, and did my best to chase both of them down, including a sneaky setup during a bus tour to ride with one on the first leg of the trip and the other one on the return trip (More than one bus to hold us all made this possible.). Imagine my irritation when this other guy (who I'd noticed joining whatever group I happened to be engaging with and who I'd pointedly been ignoring) boarded the bus, asked if the seat next to me was taken and when told it was, replied, "Too bad" and promptly sat down in it. The start of a beautiful relationship? Not exactly, as once we got back to campus, I continued my chasing of the trombone players while he continued his chasing of me. Eventually he caught up with me, and I discovered what an interesting and talented person he was (not to mention the fact that he appeared to love me and had similar life goals to mine). He won me over and we married shortly after graduation.
I tell this story because of someone who unexpectedly showed up at the ArtWalk reception. That's Shelleye in the above photo who was in the symphonic band at college and thus was on those band tours with the jazz group, some members who, like Allen, also played in the symphonic band. Shelleye tracked me down on Facebook a few years ago and frankly, I didn't have much of a recollection of her. I think she knew me more through Allen who she would have known better. That did not deter her though from becoming a fun Facebook friend, and thus I soon learned that although she was living in the southern part of the state, her hometown and her parents were just 30 minutes or so north of me. She even managed to strike up a conversation on an airport shuttle with one of my art group members. But she and me getting together? We just hadn't made it work in spite of her frequent trips north.
|Me, the purple dress and the borrowed sax|
Until Friday night and the reception. Oh, how wonderful it was to talk to her in person! She is as fun as she looks in photo (and a quilter too!). And before long, we were telling college stories about the band (and the questionable purple dresses we had to wear) and Allen and how, unbeknownst to me, everybody BUT me apparently knew Allen had his sights set on me. Slightly embarrassing that, but after we'd both gone home, I realized what a gift it was to have Shelleye show up at the reception, so close to this oft difficult anniversary. I have fewer opportunities as the years go by to reminisce with people who actually knew Allen. Certainly none of the friends I've made here knew him. So it was very special to see Shelleye after all these years and hear some things about those college days I was unaware of. Thanks Shelleye!