Birthday Card to Gretchen 1987

Here was a birthday card (in three images) I sent to Gretchen in Spain. It includes references to a trip with Mary to Calico, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs. In it I also issued a musical challenge to Patrick. His response later was that you have to listen to music live, not recorded. If there’s no live music in your area, move.

(You can click on these images to see larger versions of them.)

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More Photos from Cassandra

Here are several more pictures that Cassandra shared with me. I believe these are from the early 1980’s. Click on a photo to see a higher-resolution version.

Stephanie Peering Down (photo by Cassandra)
Patrick Shaking Hands (photo by Cassandra)
Pat and Stephanie with friends (photo by Cassandra)
Several Women (photo by Cassandra)
Patrick and friend (photo by Cassandra)

House with a Crack, and Medicine

Transcription of a recording from 25 Mar 2017. Patrick began by talking about a house in Valldemossa and Ivonne’s generosity with her mother, then the topic shifts gears to when to take his next pill. You can definitely here the pain in his voice.

… that place in the house in Valldemossa where there’s an archway and its cracked at one end, as though there’s no supporting beam. So Ivonne, having studied architecture, thinks that that’s a weak point where the roof is going to collapse. The crack is spreading down the wall.

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Imperfect Copy

I’m an imperfect copy of an imperfect father
Adopting his failures
Mimicking his weaknesses
Poorly duplicating his better qualities
His virtuosity in music
His confidence with women
His tenacity in publication

Patrick and JP at Piano with a Rally Book

We shared the joy of teaching
A love of words and music
A sharp wit and curmudgeonly air
A familial void
The absence of each another
Over too many years

I’m an imperfect copy of an imperfect father
Yet I must self-acknowledge
My few qualities, the ones he lacked
As a racer
As an engineer
As a responsible man

7 May ’17
Palma, Mallorca

Copyright © 2017, 2019 John Dillon

Oktav (the Story of the Harpsichord)

Stephanie’s instrument was recorder so from the outset it was evident we needed a harpsichord.  My experience with music told me that if you had the instruments, the musicians would appear, a kind of magic. So if you had a guitar, for instance, everyone with an illusion of being the next Bob Dylan or Cat Stevens would show up in your living room. Given our new interest in Baroque and Classical, best would be to dispose of the guitar. I passed it along to my daughter Gretchen. She at nineteen was visiting Spain for the first time.  She fell out with a bartender named Pedro and smashed my guitar over his head.

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Music by Misha’s Orchestra

Here is a link to a YouTube video of the Russian String Orchestra directed by Patrick’s good friend Misha Rachlevsky. You may recall that Misha led the memorial concert for Patrick in September of 2017.

This video is from the last concert of last year’s USA tour (November 19, 2018, for Friends of Chamber Music in Miami). It’s only 37 minutes long.

Misha wrote “Each member in this composition, which I commissioned for our anniversary season, is featured as a soloist.  And at the end (last 7 minutes or so, including the encore) we show, that classical music concert can pump adrenaline as well as any rock band on a good night.”

Patrick and Stephanie would have loved this.

These Memories

These memories
Unfairly risen from distant, awkward past
Shimmer on horizon
Distort the view

Reflections
From murky mirror in rusty frame
Hint at what once was
Mar the recollections
With clouded silvered glass
And cobwebs draped in ornate corners

Eyes focused forward
We march toward the future
But our boot laces
Like these memories
Remain entangled in the thickets
From where we tread before

© 2019 John P. M. Dillon