December 4, 2010
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The name of Dave Brubeck emerged in a water exercise class we attend twice a week. Someone said he was 90 years old on that day.
I have a warm memory centered in Dave. We were in a men’s room at adjacent urinals. Recognizing him immediately I was shocked. It was intermission time during his concert with his musician sons in Omaha, Nebraska – lo, these many years ago. Somehow you don’t expect to see the star of the concert in the men’s room – but I ramble.
On that date, our son Andy was in the Methodist hospital after some very serious surgery for a cancer that was testicular, but the demon had spread throughout his body. He would never fully recover from this, though he did not die until fairly recently.
When Andy realized that we were going to the Brubeck concert, he tried every technique he could muster to get an evening’s release from the hospital No way. He was much too sick for that. It was a major disappointment for him.
As we left the rest room, I briefly mentioned Andy’s situation to Dave. He showed a lot of interest, inquired where he was and how he was. We must have chatted for five minutes. The rest of his concert took on a special richness for me. I loved the guy and his music.
The next day I visited Andy in his room. He wasn’t doing very well. But there was something. He said, “You will never guess what happened to me today.” “What?” I replied.
“Dave Brubeck called me on the phone from the airport. He told me about meeting you and we talked about the concert and he wanted to know all about how I was and if there was anything he could do.”
I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t say anything. Too choked up.
Well, happy belated birthday, Dave. I love you, man…