Tuesday, April 10, 2012


A gazillion years ago I was musical. I played a bass violin. It was huge but fun. Mainly because the surrounding schools often didn’t have a bass player of their own so they would borrow me. I played a bunch of shows and met some great people. I also got to go along on a trip to Great Britain.

There were many cool things about that trip. For instance, I saw Michael Crawford in his first leading role on the West End stage in London. I got to wander through Edinburgh Castle. I performed in the Royal Hall in Harrogate and in the Ripon Cathedral. Not bad for a thirteen-year-old growing up in the middle of nowhere rural PA. Needless to say I didn’t really fit in at home very well but that’s for a different blog.

But the best thing about the trip was that during the International Music Festival in Harrogate we were put up by the people of the town. My host family was wonderful. So wonderful that both their kids came to visit me for a summer each and I went back to stay with them the summer in between. How awesome is that!

I used the geography of that summer in my book, All Roads Lead to Ripon. As I did research to ensure I had the details correct I had so much fun revisiting the places in my mind that Claire, the daughter of the house, and I explored that summer.

I don’t know why but this morning I remembered that today, April 10th, is Claire’s birthday. I probably shouldn’t share this but she’s turning 50. I’m having problems with that because to me, she will always be the high-spirited teenager I knew way back when. Sadly, I haven’t spoken to her in years but I know she’s still out there and I’m sure she will somehow sense the many wishes I’m sending her way.

Happy Birthday, Claire!

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