I am not from this community and when you are a “transplant” you don’t know all the history and the long-time relationships between families and the community. I have lived here long enough, however that some of the recent history of the community has become mine as well.
My kids were both band nerds and for several summers I had kids playing in the summer concerts in the park put on by the municipal band. Musicians from high school age on up would gather to practice once a week and on Friday nights we could drag our quilts and lawn chairs to the park and families would gather around the pavilion to hear them play. The concerts always begin with the National Anthem and end with “I Love Paris”.
These concerts are one of the things I have grown to love about my adopted community. What a picture of small town America and like any small town, the picture has it’s own flavor because of the characters involved.
We lost one of those characters this week. I knew him and his family through work but my favorite memories will be of him introducing the songs at the summer concerts. Ever a teacher and music enthusiast, he saw that we had a little piece of information about the different composers and the music. A regular composer each year was Henry Fillmore. Because of Pat I know that Mr. Fillmore was known as the “Father of the Trombone Smear” and that he married an exotic dancer named Mabel May Jones. When his introduction began, as soon as he mentioned Henry Fillmore, those of us who were “regulars” for several years would chuckle because we knew that he would mention Mabel next.
I know that Pat was loved by his family, friends, and community and this is my favorite memory of him. I will always think of my kids and their years in band when I hear a march being played but now I will also be listening in my mind for Pat to tell a story about it. I know you are a saint who is marching in right now. Thanks Pat, and God speed.