Workin’ for the Man – Part 3

Oct 26, 2007 | | 8 comments

jim-trombone-1977.jpg Music Librarian

At Newberry College as a music major, I worked in the music library for a short time. I have no strong memories of the music library. It was a job that gave me a little spending money. I was a student at Newberry for two years majoring in Music Education. The funny thing is, I didn’t want to be a music teacher. Does that make sense? It didn’t make sense to me either so I dropped out much to the chagrin of my parents.

I was quiet and kept to myself a lot, but I loved to perform… still do. I wish I had talked out my feelings about school and career and sought the wisdom of others. I don’t wish that because of regret for my choices. I wish it now because it would have been healthier for me emotionally then. I was pretty headstrong and sure of myself. On the inside I was scared of the future and unsure that I was really making wise decisions. In a way, I think I was full of questions and afraid to ask them.

I have a lot of fond memories of Newberry College. We had an excellent jazz ensemble and I got to play trombone a lot. (If you click that goofy picture, you can see the rest of the Jazz Ensemble). I had some pretty good chops back then… not as good as I thought I had, but pretty good 🙂 Each year, the jazz program brought in a world class professional jazz musician to do a clinic and play a concert with our band as the backup. They featured some really big names too. Each year, they rotated through the different sections of the band. My first year was trumpet year and they brought in Marvin Stamm. I remember Marvin as being a “health nut”, which meant that he was a runner and ate yogurt. One of the trumpet players in our band, Steve Wentzky, in imitation of Marvin, began eating yogurt like there was no tomorrow. Sadly, instead of making him a better trumpeter it led to kidney stones. The doctors had to open up his back to get them out, which meant no trumpet for several months. I felt so bad for him. He was a really good trumpet player. In fact, he played for Jeanie’s and my wedding.

My second (and last) year was trombone year, the year that they featured a pro trombonist. This was extra special for me because I was the only music major whose main instrument was trombone. Much to my delight, they decided to feature Bill Watrous , who was the number one trombonist around. I was beside myself. It felt like they had brought him in for me alone even though their choice was merely because it was trombone year.

I know this post was more about school than work, but it’s my blog and I can write what I want to. Tongue out

Next time, the beginning of my musical instrument repair career.


Workin’ for the Man Series

Posted in: memories, personal, workin'

8 Responses

  1. I remember Nanny working on that coat. It was indeed a challenge for her. But you were the apple of her eye, and NOTHING would come in the way of her finishing it for you. I miss Nanny too. She was the greatest, and we were all lucky to have had her as long as we did. She would be over 100 years old now!!!! wow..

  2. Judy, I would like to do a tribute to Nanny on my web site. Would you help me with that?

    Thanks Erin. I’m glad you think I look cute and fancy. I want to tell that boy to comb his hair, stand up straight and be a man. I guess I’m too hard on him. He was a pretty cool dude.

  3. Your blog floods my mind with memories. They are happy ones about rooming with you, going to school at Nberry and the great friendship we shared then as roommates. I truly did think you were the best ‘bone player at Newberry. Your dedication to master it was an inspiration to me. I do remember the look in your eyes when Bill Watrous came. You talked about him incessantly and it seemed to influence you to make exponential improvement technically and musically after being so inspired. I was not so dedicated to excellence with the music back then..too busy trying to maintain a love life. My days of inspiration and passion for music came later.
    Speaking of love life…man…you were SO absorbed and in love in Jeannie. It was like you guys were already married. Actually it really was helpful to see the stability in your relationship back then. It truly influenced my thinking in understanding what kind of relationship I wanted to have with Kelly. I had anything but stability with females back then. Kelly was quite the “established one” who the Lord used to help get my act together.

    It’s possible that you may have been the one who helped me get a job in the Music Library…yes, I worked there too. SOOOOO boring, but it did help with the “green stuff.

    It is true…you were a cool dude. I will NEVER forget that down jacket. You would not let anyone wear it or even touch it!

    Here’s some names of other inspirations to me from the ‘berry years:
    Harriet
    Dennis
    Bill and Cathy Churlick (sp?)
    Andreas Armstrong (a senior rooming with a freshman…poor guy…who stuck him with that?)
    I cannot tell my historical testimony of becoming a Christian and submitting my life to Christ without mentioning the above people and you and Jeannie. Your love for Jesus as a real person is what riveted my calling. My perception of you was that Christianity was not about orthodoxy with you but a dynamic relationship with God that wrestled with truth, error, life, passion, purpose, eternity, and more.
    I’ll never forget how shocked I was when you said you were leaving Newberry. I was incredibly sad. I didn’t understand then as I do now.
    I am grateful for the relationships the Lord allowed me to have during those years. Many memories has grown dim…some are as vivid as this morning’s sunrise…much water has passed under the bridge since then… I think I’ll go light up a pipe like my friend Jim in the old days and muse on it all.

  4. T-Bo – I was hoping you’d drop by and leave a comment or two. What a great surprise to see so many great thoughts and memories about our time at Newberry. It was a boring job, wasn’t it? I believe you were the one who took the picture of me in the jacket, weren’t you? What was the name of that park?

    The inspiring names you listed remind me of stories that I could go on and on about. Add to them the bike rides in the country, walks in the cemetery, your stuffed squirrel, getting the barrel from the woods north of town, short sheeting, locking the door with pennies… More blog fodder for another day.

  5. Jim–I enjoy each opportunity to read about another chapter in your life. It also comforts me to know I am not the only one with “those” pictures of myself that make me chuckle–like the permed mullet era of the late 80s!

    I appreciate your words and your courage to share them–Curtis

  6. ded,
    Thanks. Our time on the tree crew is next on the list. It’s getting harder as I get closer to the present because it seems my life stories become more intense and more frequent as I get older… or maybe I remember them more because I haven’t had as much time to forget them 🙂

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