“I want to know if you know how to melt into fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing.” ~ David Whyte
Since early childhood my life was filled with jazz – rehearsals, live performances ~ Monterey Jazz Festival; Los Angeles Music Center Grand Opening; Newport Jazz Festival in 1967. It was my blank canvas filled with rich acoustic colors, textures, emotions that manifested with sounds of self-expression and a healthy respect for life. I had fallen in love with the sound of words filling my imagination and captured the passion I felt for writing and painting when I listened to it. It was July in 1969 when Dad came home and announced to us in the family room …We are going to move back to New York at the end of July. It was just before my 14th birthday and I was about to start high school. I was set on attending Hollywood High. I was pretty excited about my first year. My heart stopped. I was scared and thought that my life was over. I gave up any notions of being melodramatic with dad ‘cause that would be yet another loss of our father – daughter debates. We had to pack in a hurry because Dad was preparing for the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in August. We flew back and stayed with my grandparents in Jamaica Estates in Queens. Our furniture, pianos and boxes were being transported from L.A. to New York by Bekins Moving and Storage to their warehouse on Long Island. When we came back from Newport, R.I., mom and dad found a house to rent that was around the corner from my grandparents. Dad took me to register for school. Jamaica High School was the same high school my mom had gone to. The creepy part was that the Principal and the curtains in the auditorium were the same as when mom had when she attended there. School was supposed to start just after Labor Day. But as luck would have it, there was the fifty-two day Teacher’s Strike. It was boring, mom was waiting for her teaching credentials to be transferred so she got the books for the classes my brother and I were going to be taking that fall. She home schooled us and went into the City Monday through Friday.
Dad found an office on Broadway, so we would all walk and catch the subway, the E or the F train into Manhattan and got off at the 57th Street Station. He was booking dates for Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard and Monty Alexander to name a few. I was charged with typing the copyright applications. They didn’t have computers back then, just an IBM Selectric with correction tape. It seemed like my errors were glaring. The copyright forms were three layers of a gold hue with carbon paper in between, so when you made a mistake, you had to correct it on all copies. It was an intense experience. I couldn’t wait until the strike was over. I knew that I would starve to death if I had to type and answer phones for a living…. Peace Out!