Friday, March 20, 2009

Bob Tate

Life is weird sometimes and every now and then throws a curve, provides a bit of information about the past and teases you with the future. This week has had all of those elements.

The Present: I took a photo Wednesday night that shows the beauty of this planet on which we live.

The Past: During my senior year in high school in Iowa Falls, Iowa, the local Junior College, Ellsworth College put on a musical, the name escapes me at the moment, however one of the leads was a young black man, Bob Tate, who had a gorgeous tenor voice. Through the theatre program at the high school I had the opportunity to meet him, and we became friends of sort. One day, I called my Mom and asked if I could bring a friend home for supper. No problem. We walked in and I could see the shock in my folk’s face, or a least my Dad, who evidently had some pre-conceived racial ideas. It was tense all through supper. Bob then noticed the piano in the living room and asked if he could play. My Dad (reluctantly) agreed. You could see my Dad’s attitude and demeanor change as Bob played the piano. He made those keys sing... My Dad, also a tenor and a pianist, was put at ease and the rest of the night was spent singing around the piano.

Over the years I have often wondered what ever happened to Bob Tate after he left Iowa Falls. I knew he was from Waterloo, but never made a effort to find out. There was always next week.

This week I ran out of next weeks. His obituary was in the paper this week. He was 62 and had spent his life as a church musician. I regret not looking him up. He was instrumental in changing my Dad’s attitude about race (I have another story to tell about that – but that will have to be at a later time). He was also a friend to me.

What did I learn this week? - don't wait until next week to tell someone you appreciate what they do, who they are and that you care for them. There just may not be a next week...

The Curve and the Future: Let's just say, for the moment, "Life is interesting!"

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