Postcard to Gretchen in May 1987

I’m not exactly sure when I wrote this, but based on the Gary Hart reference, it may have been on 8 May 1987. (You can click on the image to see a larger version of it.)

JP to Gretchen (May 1987)

The job reference confirms that it was some time of May 1987. Mary was flying in because Dean and I were celebrating, with our respective girlfriends, five years at our respective aerospace firms. Indeed, I even had a cake made for after dinner that read “FFY” for “five years.”

Postcard to Gretchen

Here’s a postcard I sent to Gretchen (c/o Patrick) on 6 April 1987. Not much news but included for the completeness of the record. (Click on it to see a larger version.)

JP to Gretchen (6 Apr 1987)

About the Mary reference: Mary and I had driven to Vegas for my birthday celebration, but I failed to make hotel reservations. It was snowing up there, but we walked around and had dinner and enjoyed the sites, such as they are. I couldn’t find a place for us to stay so we drove to Henderson, still couldn’t find anything. We finally traveled over Hoover Dam through heavy snow and stopped for the night in Kingman, following big trucks, who cleared the tracks for us, in my Karmann Ghia. She was quite angry with and thought we were going to die.

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.

Continue reading “Oktav (the Story of the Harpsichord)”

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