It was the complete #5 “Emperor”… all 42 minutes worth! What a treat… Krystian, a child prodigy born in Zabrez Poland in 1956. He started playing at age 5 under his fathers tutelage (his father was also a pianist) and in 1973 & 1975 Krystian won the 1st prize for the international piano competition in Warsaw, Poland!
This launched him to Munich, Germany; London, England; Paris France; Vienna, Austria; Berlin, Germany and more! He toured and played all over the world. Then in 1978 he made his first American appearance and then toured throughout the world at large to great critical acclaim by everyone who got to witness his amazing talent. He Performed with many renowned orchestras and worked with some of the world’s most outstanding conductors including: Claudo Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Herbert Von Karajan, Andre’ Previn and the list goes on and on… Suffice it to say, I added many of his videos to my youtube playlist.
Wow! Just the medicine… for when I’m in the mood for abreak from my oldies, rock-N- roll or even contemporary christian music. I know everyone has different tastes… and so do I, but I love to write and sometimes certain stuff just doesn’t fit the bill for where I want my senses to be taken for what I’m endeavoring to write…. and that’s where this story begins. Really…
Ya see it was while looking through the classics (on you tube again) that up popped…Old Movie Music Scores… and this led me down the trail of some memorable and great sound tracks…
The last of the Mohicans… Legends of the Fall… Dances With Wolves… Band of Brothers…. all of it sweeping music that lifted my heart to the movement of the deep sounds. Even Rachmaninoffs… Rhapsody on a theme of Paganni… beautiful stuff. Then a bunch of old John Wayne Movie soundtrack themes (which I
love by the way). Some are a little corny, but others are fantastic. There was Hugo Montenegros from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly… Gladiator’s themesong called “Honor Him”… And then the music from “Lonesome Dove”..it was during the music of this epic mini-series that something triggered in my memory… and there I was… a little kid on a lazy Saturday afternoon, back in the Phoenix Arizona of my youth.
When I was young my Mom worked for a while for “World Gift”, they carried all kinds of nik-knacks for the home… Candle Holders, Wall Plaques with the Ten Commandments and the Lords Prayer imprinted on them… almost everything of theirs seemed to be made of brass or something close to it. Anyway they sold it like
Tupper-wear does, the women have a party at someone’s house… they have snacks then order gifts from the World Gift Catalog… I don’t know how successful Mom was with this venture but there sure was a lot of World Gift stuff hanging on the walls and around the house through the years.
Well this particular Saturday Mom had a party set up somewhere and dad got the honor of babysitting us boys… not sure but I think my sister went with mom… The way I remember, it was us guys on our own for the afternoon and evening. When I think back now… I know that mom must have planned ahead and made sure we were all wellfed and taken care of before she left… Mom was a real good cook and kept us six kids well fed… Like most of the mothers I knew back then, the meals were served and eaten at the diningroom table… I can’t recall any of my child hood chums ever complaining about their mothers cooking either. Au contraire… the talk was always about the delicious foods and snacks our moms would make.
Well… I hate to say it Mom but I don’t have the slightest memory of the meal or meals that day. What I do remember is mom & sis were gone and my brothers and I were sprawled around the living room floor (everyone always hung out on the floor in those days) and Dad turned on the T.V. to the Saturday Matinee….The movie they showed that Saturday afternoon still stands out in my memory today… it was the “Northwest Passage” starring “Spencer Tracy” as “Major Rogers”. He was the leader of “Rogers Rangers” and “Robert Young” as a Harvard dropout wannabe artist who gets caught up in a rip roaring Colonial Indian War.
I remember Dad making popcorn probably during intermission… they had those back then on T.V.; it was probably 10 or 15 minutes or so of a shortbreak before they played the second half of the film. I also remember the movie was in Technicolor… but we only had a black & white T.V. then… color would come later at least for us and we didn’t mind. We were glued to the set… I know by today’s standards of special effects and fast moving stories, today’s kids would be bored and yawning through most of this old classic… But to me and my brothers back then on that Saturday… it was entrancing and so full of “He-man bravado” and heroics that we were swept up into the great saga of “Rogers Rangers” marching through the harsh wood lands of the back then North West.
I don’t know if my brothers were affected by this movie like I was or not… I remember sometimes while playing in the little wilderness areas alongside the irrigation ditches or even in our own backyard we’d pick “Roger’s Rangers” to play as… or was it just me wanting to reenact the Rangers? (editor’s note: Wow, so this was the Power Rangers of my dad’s day! :D At least we share the word “Ranger” in common!) Anywho… Over the years there were many times on construction sites in the blazing Phoenix sun when I felt like I couldn’t make it any further… that old movie would come to mind and I’d see Maj. Rogers standing there stirring his men on… and do it like only Spencer Tracy could. I’d shake off the fatigue and press on to the end of the day.
I haven’t thought of that old movie in quite a few years now. And I know my mom and sister came home a little later that Saturday night so long ago… and I’m sure she fixed a good breakfast and got us all off to church Sunday morning… maybe a nice pot roast in the oven when we came home…. Isn’t it incredible how a certain piece of music can transport you to a place in your past?… So vivid yet surreal… Somehow those moments and times are implanted in your mind and connected to a distant memory… a recall system that works or is triggered even by a smell or taste.
I don’t know about you… but I’m thinking of God right about here…. now add the computer, youtube, and the ability to look up and find almost any music or movie or historical tidbit you’re seeking… all at our fingertips in full blown action and color!
Oh what fascinating tools we have to use these days…. Even this older guy knows a good thing when he sees it!
Until next time… my friends. Godspeed and Farewell
Btw, here is the plot of North West Passage as given on Wikipedia:
The film opens in the year 1759 with the arrival of Langdon Towne (Robert Young) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The son of a cordage (rope)- maker and ship rigger, he returns from Harvard University after being expelled for complaining about college food and drawing an unflattering picture of the President of Harvard College. Though disappointed, Langdon’s family greets him with love, as does Elizabeth Browne (Ruth Hussey), the daughter of a noted clergyman. Elizabeth’s father (Louis Hector) is less welcoming, however, and denigrates Langdon’s aspirations to becoming a painter.
That evening, while drinking in the local tavern with friend Sam Livermore (Lester Matthews), Langdon makes indiscreet remarks disparaging Wiseman Clagett (Montagu Love), the king’s attorney, and the Indian agent, Sir William Johnson, unaware that Clagett is sitting in the next room with another official. Facing arrest for his comments, Langdon fights the two men with the help of “Hunk” Marriner (Walter Brennan), a local woodsman and friend, before they both escape into the woods.As they flee westward, Langdon and Marriner stop in a backwoods tavern for something to drink.
There they meet a man in a green uniform who treats them to a drink called “Flip” which is similar to hot buttered rum, after they help him with a drunk American Indian. After a night of drinking, the two men wake up at Fort Crown Point, where they are told that the man they had met was Major Rogers (Spencer Tracy), the commander of Rogers’ Rangers. Needing Langdon’s mapmaking skills, Roberts recruits the two men for his latest expedition, one to destroy the hostile Abenakis tribe and their town of St. Francis far to the north.Setting out at dusk, Rogers’ force rows north using whale boats on Lake Champlain.
Traveling by night, they successfully evade river patrols by French forces but are forced to send several soldiers back to the fort after a confrontation with Mohawk scouts who were dismissed by Rogers. During the confrontation, a powder keg explodes which injures some of his force. However, Rogers not only sends back the injured to Crown Point, but the disloyal Mohawks provided him by Sir William Johnson (Frederick Worlock), and a number of his men who didn’t obey orders to avoid a confrontation with the Mohawks. Although his force is depleted, the rangers move onto their objective. Concealing their boats for a much later return, the force marches northward through swampland, avoiding dry land wherever possible to conceal their movements.
When informed by his Stockbridge Indian scouts left to watch over the boats that the French have captured their boats and extra supplies, Rogers revises his plan and sends an injured officer back to Fort Crown Point requesting the British to send supplies to old Fort Wentworth, where the returning rangers will meet them. After making a human chain to cross an unbridged river, the rangers reach St. Francis. The force succeeds in their attack, setting fire to the dwellings and cutting the Abenakis off from retreat.
When the battle is over, however, the rangers find only a few baskets of parched corn with which to replenish their dwindling provisions. Worse, as Marriner is searching the destroyed village, he comes across a prostrate Langdon suffering from a bullet wound in his abdomen. Facing hostile forces and a long march with only meager supplies, the rangers set out on their course to Wentworth, trying to evade the French and Indians pursuing them. Their initial objective is Lake Memphremagog, with the injured Langdon bringing up the rear.
Ten days later, Rogers’ men reach the hills just above Lake Memphremagog, where they hope to find food by stopping to hunt and fish. Encountering signs of French activity, Rogers prefers to press on to Fort Wentworth a hundred miles distant, but the men vote to split up into four parties and fan out in search of game to eat. Game proves scare, though; worse, two of the detachments are ambushed by the French and most of the men killed.After persevering through harsh conditions, Rogers and the remaining fifty men finally reach the fort, only to find it unoccupied and in a state of disrepair.
The hoped-for British relief column has not arrived. Though personally despairing, Rogers attempts to rally the men, who are on the verge of collapse. As Rogers attempts to perk up their flagging spirits with a prayer, they hear the fifes and drums of approaching British boats with the supplies. Reporting that the Abenakis are destroyed, the British do Rogers’ men the honor of presenting their firearms and shouting “Huzzah”. After returning to Portsmouth, Langdon reunites with Elizabeth while Rogers’ Rangers are given a new mission: to find the Northwest Passage.
Roger’s fires them up with a brief speech telling them of all the wonders they will see while they march towards the first point of embarkation, a little fort called “Detroit.” He passes by Langdon and Elizabeth to say goodbye where Elizabeth informs him that she and Langdon are headed for London where she is hopeful he will learn to become a great painter. Rogers bids them farewell and marches down the road and off into the sunset.
Other articles by my dad:
5. The Glass Oval Cuff-Link… Trinkets, Memories, and Pawnee Bill (Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show) (May 11, 2012)
4. Bullfrogs, Bullies and The Troggs (May 5, 2012)
3. — The one you’re reading. –
2. Old Guys & Youtube (April 13th, 2012)
1. MyDad: The Phoenix I Knew. Arizona’s Hometown From the Eyes of a 1950s-born Phoenician (April 5th, 2012)