My wifes father, John.
He loved music and spent his life bringing music to the masses. He started, directed and conducted several orchestra, played in the Boston Pops, and created the Britt Music Festival in Oregon state. He was professor of music at Portland State. The last symphony he started had a goal - to make classical music affordable and play things other than the usual classical music programs.
He and his wife (now of 50+ years) were the perfect 50’s atomic couple. Skinny ties, fancy dresses, both the darlings of the party. I used to hear great stories of he and his “crew” playing a classical concert and after the show heading over to one of several haunts, taking over the stage and playing jazz until 5am.
He was in Europe in WWII and came back in one piece and, although he never spoke of it, he felt he did his duty when his country called for him.
He was a proud American.
He hated, what he felt, Bush had done to the country. Many of his letters to the editor were printed in his city newspapers. They were well thought out, well written editorials dripping with reasonability and logic. A democrat by label but a humanist by nature.
The 2000 election, the war, the 2004 election, the economy tanking and the Republican spend more/tax less policy frustrated him to no end.
He’d often say “In my 80 years I’ve never seen this country is such bad shape” and then he’d crumple his big, bushy white eyebrows.
He started to lose faith in the country he loved. The same country he served and spent his life entertaining.
He died last night at 8pm at the age of 81.
Someone on the television tonight said it was too bad Obama’s grandmother missed this day. I said to my wife “yeah, and your father did too”.
She broke down. In between tears she said “He would have loved this”.
Damn John. 24 hours too early.