Left image by Chris Miller Right image by Norman Rockwell
When I was twenty years old, I discovered the Bach flute sonatas, played by John Wummer and Fernando Valenti.
At age twenty-two, I bought an inexpensive soprano recorder, vowing that if I learned to read music and stayed with the recorder for six months, I would buy a flute.
I succeeded, and so bought a Gemeinhardt flute (later, a Haynes). I practiced diligently, and formed an improvisation band called “The Last Transaction.”
I moved to San Francisco in 1968 (age twenty-five) , where my bride and I played Telemann flute duets at our wedding.
I joined a jazz-rock fusion group, “Thesis,” and added electrical extensions to my flute. We enjoyed and endured ecstatic, weird, and bummer experiences rehearsing and performing around the Bay Area. I also played in a wind quintet and several Bay Area regional orchestras.
In about 1969, I saw the Chris Miller image pictured above on a flyer advertising a concert at the San Francisco Art Institute. “That’s me in old age,” I thought, and took the poster with me.
Later, I discovered the Norman Rockwell painting (shown above) reproduced in a book. I found a good copy of the original Post magazine with the image on its cover and had it framed.
Now the two pictures hand side by side in my room. For me, they sum up the worlds of imagination and reality of a life accompanied by the flute.