Write Again … His talent is ‘ unique’

Published 4:13 pm Monday, February 29, 2016

In mid-February I marked the seventy-seventh anniversary of my arrival.

Among the pleasantries that came my way that day — gifts from my First Wife, two daughters, grandchildren and several very nice cards (some quite clever, and some original as well) and some phone calls — was a genuine sense of gratitude. For family and friends. For still being here, for heaven’s sake.

About the phone calls. One stood out. It was from a very, very old and dear friend — from early childhood on — and stands out for its, well, I’m not exactly sure how to put it.

You see, he gave me his unique rendition of “Happy Birthday.” How would one best describe his voice? Well, now. Let’s see. Um. Memorable. That’s it, memorable.

By way of a tidbit of history, he was perhaps the only student at dear old WHS who didn’t quite make the cut of choral music teacher Charlie Stevens’ audition for the glee club.

Now, the audition process wasn’t exactly highly selective. Mr. Stevens would play a few notes on the piano, then the student would match the notes. You know, one-three-five-three-one. The bar wasn’t very high here, trust me.

Well, after my friend had a couple of shots at it, this kind and very popular teacher sort of implied that perhaps his voice just might not blend with the others. This was done ever so diplomatically, for Charlie Stevens didn’t have it in him to hurt anyone’s feelings.

That was a long time ago. But trust me, my old friend’s voice is still “unique.” Oh, yes. Memorable, indeed.

I do want to mention that for many, many years he and his business partner Tommy had a very popular DJ endeavor. This was simply an extension of my old teammate’s life-long love of music. Plus, he is a faithful and active member of his church, as he is with the Gideon Society. I’m sure he sings at church.

In short, he’s a good man.

Lest I discomfort him, perhaps I shouldn’t divulge his identity.

I don’t know if Skybo would want me to.

And … his singing voice is still unique.

Oh, yes.