Interesting Musical Experiences

Meeting President Carter

After playing the last offstage band call at a performance of Aida at the Metropolitan Opera, I was leaving before the opera was over. Since President Carter was in attendance, there were Secret Service agents all over the place. I heard my name called and turned around. There was my former dormitory proctor when I was in college. He was on the center on the football team and I was in the band. We had gotten along very well when in school but our paths had not crossed for several years. We exchanged pleasantries, and Jack asked if I would like to meet the President (you see, Jack was head of the Secret Service detail). I said sure and he directed where I should stand. Twenty seconds later, the President turned the corner and there I was. We shook hands and chatted briefly. How many offstage trumpet players can put that on their resume?

Interesting personalities I've performed for:

Sen. Bob Dole in the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, DC. Truly spectacular to play the Battle Hymn of the Republic in that incredible room.

Nancy Reagan and Prince Charles just prior to his wedding to Diana. The IRA showed up and disrupted the performance of the Royal Ballet at the Met.

Rudolf Nureyev's final performance at the Metropolitan Opera with the Paris Opera Ballet.


Besides trying to play golf and swimming, I'm not much of an athlete. My three sons are (I call them "The Bruise Brothers" ). Rick and Rod played inline hockey and football and Robby played baseball and ran cross country. All three played soccer. So they kept me pretty busy. When I have some time, I like to read and do some research on my ancestors. My most recent research has been on my great uncle on my father's side. Uncle Ham was in World War II and was commanding general of the XV Corps of the Third Army (Patton's). He was directly involved with closing the Falaise Gap in France (if he was not stopped by Omar Bradley, he would have closed the gap, trapping the German army and have brought the war to an end in August, 1944). He was the first to cross the Seine and liberated the King of Belgium and his consort in Salzburg (see, I got back to music!). The King was so grateful that after the war he would send his private plane to bring my aunt and uncle over for a yearly visit. He eventually became Vice Chief of Staff (as a four-star general) during the Korean War and then the Governor of the Soldier's Home in Washington, DC. You can see I'm quite proud. My wife, Barbara, is a Pulitzer Prize editor at the Wall Street Journal, so I also like to read books on economics and social policies, and an occasional Vince Flynn novel.