I had such a fabulous day yesterday. Just recently, thanks to Facebook, Moshe reconnected with Brian Davey, his PhD supervisor back in the late ’70s. Moshe was Brian’s very first PhD student, which made it quite special. We’d become friends with Brian and his family, and somewhere in a shoebox or old photo album, we have a photo of our daughter Devorah in a pusher with Brian’s son Evan walking next to her.
Over the past weeks, and after several messages to and fro, with a couple of invitations from Brian that we unfortunately weren’t able to accept, we finally made it to Jillian’s Cafe in Rosanna to hear Brian play his ukulele and sing Eric Bogle and Patsy Cline songs as part of a ‘family and friends only’ preview, and then stayed on to hear him as the opening act in the Open Mike event that followed.
It was amazing to catch up with him after all this time. You know, I’m finding that there’s something very special about catching up with people who’d once been close to you decades ago. There’s an ease to it, with no need to really say terribly much about the years in between, or anything much else, really. There’s a mostly unspoken understanding that yes, we’ve all gone through good and bad times, some more serious medical incidents, and well, just life’s ups and downs, and you just pick up where you left off, as natural and smooth as anything. It’s quite delightful.
We sat at a table with some of Brian’s family and friends, and Brian introduced the couple sitting opposite me as “Pete and Gloria – she taught all three of my children piano”. After a little bit of light conversation, chatting about how she loved to teach piano, and how she and Pete were dancers, I asked her if the name “Jascha Spivakovsky” meant anything to her.
Well! Not only did she know the name, but she proceeded to share with me how her daughter learned from Michael Spivakovsky, his son, to whom I had also taken my daughter, Devorah for lessons, only to realize after several weeks of pretty much zero practicing, and not much progress, that her heart wasn’t in it, so she stopped. She said that her daughter is now a concert pianist, Rebecca Chambers, who had “studied with Michael Spivakovsky
for many years there in the late 1990’s (before winning a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music in New York and later the ABC National Young Performer of the Year awards-and Young Australian of the Year award)” (see her comment on my post “A walk down the Edzell memory lane“)
It turns out that Gloria knows Michael and his wife fairly well. We talked about the house, and the garden, and the path down to the river, and all most wondrous things Spivakovsky, and I spent the rest of that evening somewhere in the stars, reliving some of my best times as a child, and delighting in that magical experience that’s created by such serendipitous encounters, and the joy of having met someone who understands.
If you’ve read my earlier blog posts, you’ll know that over the years, since I was a young adult, I’ve tried to pick up where I left off, and enjoyed playing again. It’s now been several years since I had to leave off – yet again – after suffering from trigger fingers and more tennis elbow symptoms. But after last night, I figure I’ll give it another go, and act on the thoughts I’ve had of late, and just play to the best of my ability, for as long as I can. Mind you, I have no idea how I’ll fit it in, what with my growing business, and my two grandsons, one of whom I’ll be looking after for the next couple of years as my daughter returns to work. But hey, at least I’ll be in the game again, so to speak, and can again enjoy making music, and sharing it with others.
After all, the fat lady hasn’t yet sung.