Part 6: Stunned Once Again

The following week, just as I was finishing dinner with my mom and dad in the kitchen, the phone rang and I went upstairs to answer it. There was an assumption that the ringing was intended for me since a number of my friends would call regularly in the evenings. Another weirdness was that my dad did not approve of extended conversations on the phone. Being the dissociated and ego driven teenager that I was, I thought, “Too bad, I have friends” - and many of them were girls. I answered the phone and it was one the jazz ensemble directors from the audition the prior week. He was pretty much to the point with no small talk and told me that I was selected for the piano chair. This was a big deal! There was only one piano chair in the New Jersey Allstate Jazz Ensemble. And New Jersey was and still is a very densely populated state. The rest was more dream-like experiences for me. I really was not of the capability for that chair. It was that something came through and spoke at that audition. I left my cognitive mind and an expanse "channeled" through me. This led to much popularity at school, aligning with 2 new friends who were all-state football athletes. They focused a great deal of attention on me and were great appreciators of all my musical involvement in and out of school. One of them, prior to our friendship, came to my defense when I was being harassed by one of his friends in the locker-room at gym class. Over short time, we became high school buddies. He was a great music appreciator and was very familiar with Oscar Peterson.