Portable Instrument

My friends know that I have a long history as a fan of Mannheim Steamroller. (See “Hey, Chip! You’re Welcome” )

So, as the band comes to Hancher for two shows on Nov. 19, it was a huge honor to talk to Roxanne Layton, a member and friend of founder Chip Davis since the 90s. If I would have had more time, we definitely would have talked more about her attending high school with the Marsalises and Terence Blanchard, not to mention sailing around the world with her dad. But we kept it between the lines, and I learned some things about Mannheim Steamroller that even I didn’t know!

It was a delight to talk to Roxanne about one of my favorite groups, and I hope our paths cross again soon.

A Visit to Pearl Harbor

In November 2015, Debbie and I had the privilege of visiting Pearl Harbor. It was a cloudy day with intermittent sprinkles. The exhibit docents took great pains to remind each tour group that they were visiting a gravesite, and to comport ourselves with that in mind. Our group didn’t seem to require the caution, as we milled quietly about on the U.S.S. Arizona memorial after the journey across the harbor.

The experience was every bit as emotional as you would imagine, as we all thought of the young men whose names were inscribed on the memorial wall, many of them just teenagers.

What affected me most was a video of divers taking a waterproof urn containing the ashes of a recently deceased Arizona veteran into the wreck. I thought of how these men made it through the war, went home, married, raised families and had careers, but that Sunday morning in 1941 remained such a part of them, that when the end of their lives came, the thing they wanted most of all was to be return to their friends who never had that privilege.

I will always spend a few minutes on December 7 to contemplate and honor their sacrifice.