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22 03 2008

Matthew and JohnOur school district had its Spring Break this past week. The kids were home on their ‘down time’, which of course is the exact opposite for parents – we go into overdrive keeping the children occupied and entertained. We organized a few play dates with Peter’s classmates from his preschool class. On Tuesday, we met at CharlieCharlie’s house, and the kids had a great time. We (parents) felt it was beneficial for the kids to see each other in order to keep the continuity of their interactions rolling through the week off. Yesterday was our turn to host the gathering. Peter’s classmates all had a chance to see Peter’s house & play with his toys. In attendance were Charlie, his little brother Alex, Matthew and Heather. Of course, there were momsHeather and Peter & dads there too. My espresso machine got to crank out a few lattes for the big folks, and the kids had their favorite snacks on hand as well.

All the kids get along beautifully. They are a joy to watch interact, but nothing tickles me more than hearing Peter call his friend Heather, “Header”.

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reed string rainbow

11 03 2008

oboe reed stringBack in 1981, I picked up a sturdy used wooden chair to serve at my reed-making desk. It was the start of my 15 year career as principal oboist of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, DC. Playing was constant and frequently grueling (routinely 2+ hour long concerts, and sometimes more than 1 per day while touring). Reed making was a constant. When in college, I used the same chair for those 4 years, and never removed the reed string tied to the chair’s back for reed tying. After 4 years of school, I accumulated quite a clump of string. This current clump of knots represents just about every reed I have made for the last 27 years! The thickness of the string collection is not evident by this photo, as the knots stretch from the top of the rung to a position well below the layers of draped threads.