Voices from the Grave


Today, my husband gave me the rarest of gifts. It’s the sound of my late father’s voice.

My husband had rescued some old tapes that my mother had in her house. As we were clearing up the house in order for her to move into an apartment, he spotted the tapes. Having vague  recollections of making the tapes when I was little,  we kept them. We schlepped (dragged)  them from pillar to post for the last 30 years.  We could never find a machine to play them on -until last week.

My husband asked my collector type neighbor if he knew of a machine that would play old reel-to-reel tapes.  Now, my husband is one of those technical types. He has the magic touch with machinery.   So, he fiddled and fussed. He ran the tapes backwards and forwards. He spliced and diced them together. He did this for me.

“I think I have a tape of your nieces when they were little,” he said.

Knowing that my Dad had brought home the machine from his job as a publicity specialist in the Cleveland Police Department, I knew it was probably my “big sisters” and I. And then I heard him. My dad’s voice. He is telling us how to operate the machine. Then he is interviewing us. He uses his flowery English. I know it’s him. But it doesn’t sound like him. Maybe because he was 43 years old.

“Who is this black-haired beauty?” he says about my oldest sister. “Who is this beautiful blonde?” talking about my other sister. “And here is Barbie.” (Me.) He asks us questions. I sing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. I talk about going to Kindergarten. I count to 10, and say my address and phone number. We all sing songs together. I  faintly hear my mother in the background, suggesting things to ask.  Mom was always the director, and Dad liked it that way. I wish she would’ve spoken louder.

On the tape, we  all sound so happy. Our parents had a marriage to be envied. They clearly adored each other. She put on lipstick for him, and he repeatedly brought her flowers and candy. They kissed and hugged each other all the time. They rarely argued.

My father passed away short of his 65th birthday. I’ve outlived him by 2 years. My mother lived until 91, but she was never the same after he died. Such a determined person she went on with her life, but she didn’t smile or laugh nearly as much.

It’d been forty years since I’d heard his voice.

It’s a long time to be without that unconditional love. It’s probably why his voice was unrecognizable at first. Does every girl adore their father; remembering them as them most handsome and perfect Daddy in the world?

There was a little alcove on our first floor, leading into the kitchen. I would always excitedly greet my father with a huge hug when he came home from work. He worked several jobs, but it never felt like it. When he would come home late, he would always come in my room to kiss me goodnight. He would later say, “I came in your  room and you were pounding your ear. ”

So, to hear his voice again and have a recording of it is nothing short of a miracle.

I hope anyone reading this realizes that the sound of your loved one’s voice is really precious. In this world of technology, it’s so easy to do. Don’t forget. You never know where their voices may be silenced.

 

 

Singing my blues away!


My Life in my 60's

Singing is a great thing to do if you enjoy it! There’s no age limit on this activity. It always brings me up when I’m feeling down.

I  did some singing when I was younger, but didn’t take it up again until I was 42. I joined a group called Koleinu. It’s a Hebrew word that has to do with sharing music together. One of the things we have in common is our Jewish heritage.

I look around  the group and there are some of the same members. We’ve all evolved and changed, but we’re basically the same people we were twenty years ago. Okay, twenty years has to make a little difference. (Unless you get some work done!)

Some people were new to the group this season, and felt welcomed right away.

We’ve sung all over Columbus:  a Crew’s game, The Ohio State Fair,  nursing homes, festivals, and even…

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Harmony Project teams up with WCMH4 to find the Voice4Columbus


My Harmony Project Journal

The Harmony Project, a big 220 voice Columbus Choir and Service organization, teamed up with Channel 4. The Harmony Project artistic director, David Brown, had a good idea. Why not look for a great singer to sing in the June concert, and use a format like the TV show, “The Voice”?

Over 200 first auditioned and tonight the final 26 were competing for the solo spot. The  parents and friends of the singers were cheering them on, and I bet they felt really proud.  Members of the Harmony Project served as members of the audience.

Each contestant got the chance to sing the same song for 2 minutes. One would thing it would be boring or tiresome. Not at all!  Each of the young singers gave a unique performance with a variety of nuances, styles, and interpretations. Each of these young people are mega talented. I can guarantee some of…

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Having fun at the Harmony Project holiday event: December 19 — a biased review


My Life in my 60's

When I started with the Harmony Project there were around 125 people. Now, there are 200. I didn’t really think I’d ever like singing with such a big choir, but I was wrong. We sing with one voice, and without music. It’s so much fun. We clap and rock it out too. There’s no shortage of baby boomers in the choir, but there are also people of all ages, all sexual orientations and all religions. Nobody cares about who believes what. We are all there to sing and share.

Today was our holiday concert at The Southern Theater. Almost every seat was taken. It was a rejuvenating experience.

The South High Harmony choir did a fantastic job singing for the audience. They’re kids from a high school that needed a little boost. They should be so proud of themselves. They did “We Will Rock You” with energy and heart.  It…

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Harmony Project Helps Aurora Victims: Another Harmony Project Post


My Life in my 60's

MEDIA ADVISORY

For Immediate Release:

7/23/12

COLUMBUS TO SHOW AURORA “HOW WE LOVE”

Harmony Project Quickly Schedules Monday Recording Session

Song & Online Contributions to Offer Aurora Community Help with Healing

PROCEEDS FROM NEW SINGLE DOWNLOAD TO BENEFIT FAMILIES OF VICTIMS

Royalty Rights Waived by Songwriter; Production & Location Donated

(COLUMBUS, Ohio): Technical logistics and over 100 members of the Harmony Project choir were being quickly coordinated last night and this morning to arrange for the choir to assemble later this afternoon to record the single, “How We Love,” and make it available online for a $1 contribution to show Columbus’ and the country’s support for our neighbors in Aurora.

All proceeds will benefit the families of victims in the Aurora tragedy and serve as one community’s way to help another with the healing process.

The Harmony Project will work to turn the Columbus Firefighters Local 67 banquet hall at…

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Help buy a bike for a foster kid in Columbus Ohio: read about it here! : Another Harmony Project post


My Life in my 60's

Teenagers sharing with People from the Unison Project and Harmony Project Teenagers sharing with People from the Unison Project and Harmony Project

IF you are one of my followers, you already know about The Harmony Project. It’s a wonderful group that came into my life. It’s a combination of singing (a 200 member choir that performs) and sharing.

Today, we’re buying bikes for foster kids in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a social media event. You can give as little as a dollar, or as much as you want. A woman called the “Bike Lady” purchases bikes for us.  We’re putting resources together to give as many bikes as we can in one day. Join our effort. We know it’s a hard times and the holiday season. But, you can be a part of this. How about feeling terrific for a dollar or two? There’s nothing like it!

Here’s a letter from a foster grandparent

A letter from a foster…

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Harmony Project gets loads of bikes to give to kids for Christmas


My Life in my 60's

305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_n305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_nHere’s what can happen if people work together, and do something positive. The Harmony Project, a philanthropic group that sings and shares had a one day drive in Columbus, Ohio, to buy bikes for foster kids.  It worked!  In one day, enough money was raised to buy 155 bikes!

In light of what has happened recently, this is encouraging news. If we put our minds to it, we can do anything.

We just need to believe in ourselves, and what we can accomplish! Picture by David Brown, director of The Harmony Project!

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