Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Remarkable Dreams at Age 80
My Dad turned 80 this past summer and of course we threw a big party to celebrate with him. It was a wonderful backyard BBQ with family and friends; just the kind of celebration he relishes. Simple, low key and all about the people. And the hamburgers, too, but mostly about the people.
Frank's been a gifted singer pretty much all of his life - an accountant by trade, a really good athlete for fun, but always a singer by choice. He passed his love of music on to all five of us kids; we've each performed in one way or another, professionally or casually, since we were little kids. He probably still has reel-to-reel tapes of us singing around the Christmas tree back in 1966. Dad, Mom and all of us sang in the church choir at varying times; you'll still find my Dad there on Saturdays and Sundays. He sings for funerals as well - people request him because they love his ever powerful, beautiful tenor voice.
You might think of an 80-year-old man as one who sits in a chair, watching TV and talking about his various ailments, but that's not my Dad. He recently purchased a bicycle and still plays a mean game of ping-pong. The only beings he loves more than family and friends would be horses, and he'll go riding whenever there is an opportunity. But music is really his passion.
The remarkable project Dad's completing now is an album of love songs (and others) -mostly music from the 1940s. It's remarkable because he still sounds great at age 80 and still wants so much to share his music. It's remarkable to see the tender loving care he's putting into this project and the great cooperation between him and my son, Greg, as the recording engineer.
Dad has also sent his vocal demo of the National Anthem to the Red Sox, hopeful that they'll choose him for the line up for next season. He's positive and passionate about music - in his quiet way he's the perfect role model. Here's why: it's a powerful lesson to realize that an 80-year-old person can still possess the talent, the will, and the passion to make his dreams reality.