November 17, 2009

Music from on Highschool.

Leave it to the ulta-capable Krista (Schlesinger) Kausen, who somehow, someway tracked down Mr. B. Mister Edward Brahams has the distinction of being a molding influence on my life. As a music teacher at Costa Mesa High School he earned respect and, to me, was an example of what a teacher can be. Trust me that bar is set very high.

Krista sent me a message asking if his location was near mine, geographically. Sure enough he was living in the next town north, or 15 miles as the bike rides. It turns out he and his wife had fifth wheeled it up to a town called Cottage Grove and started looking for roots to set. He got a teaching position in Drain Oregon and eventually retired. Until recently he has been doing substitute work.

After my wife found his phone number I gave a call to his wife. Who recalled who I was, not that I am particularly memorable or anything. Well, Steve Vircsik and I did camp on his front lawn once, tent and all. The return phone call was very nostalgic as those synapses that recognized his voice re-activated. Along with have a dozen memory centers. We made tentative plans to meet.

My history with Mr. B is an nine year span. From seeing my sisters concerts, and finally seeing Steves last pops concert in 1980. My sister lives a good 90 miles to the south and she was eager to re-acquaint as well.

Some coordination of effort took us forward to today. A brisk October afternoon at a local Sizzler (his choice). You might recall a time when you were waiting to meet someone and that anxious feeling, eyes darting every which way trying to gather in that first glance. That was me, in the parking lot.

Through the wooden door and lo and behold. A very familiar face and beard! You can tell when someone recognizes you. Thank goodness I lost weight! It was a handshake with that toothy grin with an eye twinkle that hints of mischief.

The normal platitudes were given, we ordered and sat. Thirty years of memories started flowing and it was all I could do to pick and choose what to talk about. Myrna has kept in close contact with several Mesa Teachers, Art Viterelli(sp) and Don Utter to name a few. I went over several HS people who I am now face booking with, yes Dale Tracy was featured.

His recollection of the Mesa Years is filled with fun. He really enjoyed his students. He was very excited about Kathy Harbor's upcoming visitation. I had a wonderful feeling inside each time I got a laugh. Either recounting old stories, or new commentary. A few things that had nagging me came out in question. One of which was his impression of the 1979 pops concert. Todd Knipp, Steve Vircsik and myself had been the Masters of Ceremony. It was my first and last attempt at on stage comedy. My own dad had hated it. Mr. B had thought it was wonderful.

In retrospect what an amazing opportunity Mesa High provided. Heck, I think I knew it at the time!

Bus trips, Concert competitions, Knotts, Disneyland, Jester Harrison(rest in peace), the horrible treatment of anyone daring to substitute. It just goes on and on.

As the evening wore down we set up an invite for our Christmas Open house (anyone reading this is invited). He and his should be coming, which will be awesome. He proffered me a gift. A music CD recorded from our chior and madrigal days. Including a great outtake.

I had the tape but it had, alas, worn out. Now I have a CD and oh so many memories. The mind does swim.

1 comment:

keeka said...

Sounds a lot how Tina and I remember Mrs. Quisel our 3rd and 4th grade teacher. I think I was the only one who got her two years, but not sure. She would invite us to her house to bake Chocolate chip cookies and stated quite passionately that choc chip cookies taste the best if you make a mess! I agree!
Thanks to all the great teachers that helped mold us into who we are today!!