about the first time you remember being thrilled.
|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
|What’s the slightest thing
to have thrilled you?
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.
|What’s the most frightening
yet thrilling thing you’ve done?
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
why you’re not completely sensible.
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.
the most uninhibited thing you’ve ever done?
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.
you considered doing for pleasure but were too concerned about
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.
the event in one sentence (there’s time to expand later)
shook hands with, and was able to talk with Dimitri Shostakovitch.
a bit about yourself around this time.
|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.
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).
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
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.
your thoughts and feelings at the precise moment of thrill?
|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
you do afterwards?
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.
you imagine other people thought of you during and after the
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.
do you think about the event, and why?
much today as in years past. Usually when something caused me
to remember it. A discussion about meeting famous people, etc.
probably don’t understand how such a thing can thrill
you; explain it to them.
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.
changes could have made the experience better, and why?
|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.
anything you want to add?
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.