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  <your background>
1.Q Tell me about the first time you remember being thrilled.
1.A At my age – this is difficult to answer. I can remember as a lad of about 8 or 9, perhaps 10, when my brother and I flew, buy ourselves, on a commercial plane from Louisville to Chicago to visit our Grandparents. I have a very vague remembrance of this, but to me it was thrilling. I had never been in a plane. Commercial flight was rather new. I had never left my parents before.
2.Q What’s the slightest thing to have thrilled you?
2.A Hearing certain pieces of music sometimes give me a momentary thrill. I remember one time when I was in my 20’s when I heard a symphony orchestra play The Star Spangled Banner and I was so thrilled and caught up emotionally that I will always remember that. Being an American I have heard the National Anthem played many, many times, but that one particular time was very thrilling even though it was a slight moment.
3.Q What’s the most frightening yet thrilling thing you’ve done?
3.A Before retirement, my work was as an insurance adjuster. I worked a particularly bad loss one time in the 70’s where I had to rent a plane to get some aerial shots of the loss site. The pilot had to take my door off the plane side and “strap” me in so I wouldn’t fall out as he did corkscrews over the loss site from about 1000-1500 feet and I “hung out” the side of the plane and took pictures. Very frightening yet very thrilling.
4.Q Tell me why you’re not completely sensible.
4.A See Question 3A. I have done a number of things, perhaps not as thrilling as what I described in 3A over the years and have remained alive to talk about it. Many times I don’t stop and think before acting. But I have gotten better about this over the years and don’t take chances as I did as a younger person.
5.Q What’s the most uninhibited thing you’ve ever done?
5.A Probably, on two occasions I can remember, again as a young man, becoming so completely drunk that I didn’t know what I was doing. I haven’t had a drink of alcohol, now, in almost 30 years, but as a young man, especially in the service, I drank in moderation. However, as I say, I can remember two times when I lost all inhibitions because I was so drunk. Doing this, I’m told by others, was not the normal me.
6.Q What have you considered doing for pleasure but were too concerned about the risks?
6.A Not much. I’ve never considered drugs or sex out of my marriage. I really have to say that I have not ever considered anything other than what I do for pleasure anyway.


  <your thrill>
7.Q Describe the event in one sentence (there’s time to expand later)
7.A I met, shook hands with, and was able to talk with Dimitri Shostakovitch.
8.Q Tell me a bit about yourself around this time.
8.A I was a Junior or Senior in High School, living in Louisville, KY. Even at this time in my life, good classical music was my life. I didn’t want anything to do with anything else but music.
9.Q List the sequence of events leading up to your thrill. Try to remember how you felt at each stage. The smallest detail could be important (this is your chance to expand).
9.A The choir director at the church I attended and in whose choir I sang, was also the first trumpet player in the Louisville Orchestra at that time. He had come to know of my love for good music and was my encourager. He asked me one day if I could get out of school to come to the University, where he also taught, to a reception they were having for a group of seven Russian composers and musicians. This was one of the “Break the Iron Curtain” things going on where the US was trying to establish relations with Russia.

Shostakovitch was one of my “musical heroes” and this would be the greatest thrill of my life, to meet him, and perhaps even shake his hand.

The High School allowed me to go as an excused absence and myself, along with several hundred other people were there when he walked in. They had a receiving line and I was able to walk up to him, shake his hand and, through an interpreter, tell him how much I admired his music.
10.Q What were your thoughts and feelings at the precise moment of thrill?
10.A To me at this time in my life, it was like meeting The President, The Queen, Bach, Mozart, the most important person in the world. I could hardly speak I was so excited. It is an event I will always remember.
11.Q What did you do afterwards?
11.A “Kicked myself” for not at least trying to get his autograph. I even wondered why I didn’t bring one of the many record albums I had of his works to have him sign one. I have never been able to figure out why I didn’t do that. The only thing I can reason is I don’t remember anyone getting autographs so they might have told us we wouldn’t be able to do so.
12.Q What were the risks?
12.A None
13.Q What did you imagine other people thought of you during and after the event?
13.A People at school, my friends, and even my parents wondered why I wanted to meet an old Russian composer. Other than one friend at school who also loved good music, no one seemed to understand.
14.Q How often do you think about the event, and why?
14.A Not as much today as in years past. Usually when something caused me to remember it. A discussion about meeting famous people, etc.
15.Q Some people probably don’t understand how such a thing can thrill you; explain it to them.
15.A See 13A above. I find today even, when an occasion comes up and I can mention my experience that people sometimes look at me like, what are you talking about. It’s probably because they don’t understand who Shostakovitch was. He was the Beethoven of 20th Century Russia.
16.Q What three changes could have made the experience better, and why?
16.A If I had had more time to talk to him, if I could at least had gotten an autograph, if I could have had my picture taken with him. My memories of the event have faded over the years and I would like something to preserve them.
  Is there anything you want to add?
  Hope what I have given you helps. I’ll be interested in looking at the results. If I can clarify or answer further, let me know and I’ll try.
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what do you find thrilling?