The week before the NYC trip has arrived and it’s a race to the gate! (#racetothegate) The boys are being taken care of, Wicked tickets have been procured and the rest of the weekend is totally up in the air. Trying to keep expenses down, etc and looking for bargains for other shows and the way it’s looking, the only show I may be able to get is Phantom…. but seriously, it could be worse. I’m looking forward to the icy cold streets of NYC for the weekend. The week is going well. At school, we are preparing for our little performance on Grandparents day in 2 weeks, highlighting the music of the 1940’s and the kids are doing well and having a good time. Most importantly, “Chickens Ball” rehearsals are going well. Everyone seems to be having a good time, and that makes it fun. Such great people! In the meantime, trying to get the apartment in order for Aya who will be watching the boys during the day while Auntie Rae Rae will come see them during the day for a walk and to feed them. They love their Aya and Auntie Rae Rae and Papa is in debt to both of them for their care of the boys.

Let’s see, what else is there? OH! 42nd Street at Tri-School. We’ve started rehearsals, and it’s been going great. Personally, it’s fun to play this music. It really is a classic piece of musical theatre that’s just FUN, and I think the kids are having fun as well. Probably should think about getting the band together soon.

So, let’s continue our story…..

I need to go back to the spring of 1991. Some friends (mostly the singers from the IHM 5:00pm mass) and I decided to put a vocal group together, and we put on a concert. We sang some great songs, and Judy and I played some 2-piano duets. It was called “A Vocalistic Evening”. It was a great success and a lot of fun.

Fast forward to Fall of 1991 and the beginning of the time of Sr. Dee at St. Matthias. Sr. Dee was quite progressive. She didn’t wear a habit, or a veil, she was definitely an “undercover” nun. She and I hit it off at once! Judy and Sr. Dee… I’m not sure they ever got along well. Both were a strong, liberal, female presence. We were really taking off at St. Matthias. The choir was growing and getting better. We were able to attack some more classical pieces of music like John Rutter’s “For the Beauty of the Earth” which was a favorite of both mine and Judy’s – even before we met! We lived for choir and we had a great time. In the fall of 1992, Fr. Meyer retired and we were blessed with Monsignor Jim Flynn. It was an easy transition. Msgr Flynn was a great guy, he and I hit it off right away. It was the beginning of a beautiful working relationship. However, I can’t imagine what he thought of Judy and I when we told him that Fr. Meyer had approved a trip to Nassau, Bahamas to attend the NPM (National association of Pastoral Musicians) music conference. But he had to make good on Fr Meyer’s approval, so Judy and I were off the Bahamas.

It was my first flight across country, and technically my first time out of the country. We stayed at the Merv Griffin owned Paradise Island Hotel/Casino. Where we swam in the ocean, touristed in Nassau, snorkeled in the warm ocean, played the slot machines all while being educated in music ministry by our composer pals. I remember all of this so very well. It was a time I will never forget. On this trip, Judy taught me how to play “Pounce” – very much like double solitaire. We would go to our workshops during the day and drank rum and played pounce in the evening. It truly was Paradise. I can remember befriending a nun and her friend from Chicago. We taught them how to play Pounce as well. It just so happened, they were on our flight back to the mainland, and our plane was delayed leaving Nassau, so we played Pounce in the airport. I believe Judy kept in touch with one of them for a while after the trip. Whether or not we gleaned anything from this trip, we came back energized and ready to take on the world. We were definitely a team now. We did everything together. My family even thought we were dating as she would be my “date” during family get togethers. Heck, I just felt she was part of the family.

And that, for now, is all I’m saying about THAT


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