There are no certainties in life. I have been searching for them my entire life! Looking for the answers. And, the exact answers because that is who I am. They can’t be the wrong ones. Not even slightly wrong – no touch of grey. No room for error at all…

Wait… bullshit! That’s what got me to where I am now. If I’d only just fucking been able to see through all of that!

There are two things that I have been good at in my life. One of them I walked away from completely because I thought I had to be perfect. The other… well, I’m good at it (in real life) it’s just not necessarily very acceptable. We’ll leave it there for now.


I was 8 years old when I met Dizzy. I ate chicken at the Holiday Inn on Lake Shore Drive with him. It was 1974. I had been playing piano for 5 years by that time… I knew his music. I knew all their music. I wouldn’t have recognized him if my dad hadn’t said anything though. We lived out in the middle of nowhere in a little town in Indiana. I wasn’t much for paying attention to record covers or liner notes… I just listened and played. Dad took care of the other stuff.

We were there that night to hear Lionel Hampton “make love” to his vibes as my father described (he was right). The irony in the words still kill me. Teddy Wilson was with him on piano – God, the hands on that man! Lionel was losing his hearing and would rest his hands on the piano to feel the beat… yeah, I can still remember that… What a master!

My dad told me I should ask Dizzy for an autograph and so I walked up to him… “Excuse me,” I said, “my dad says you are Dizzy Gillespie.” And, he turned to me, spit out his chicken and said, “Lil’ Girl, everyone know Dizzy a white boy”, and I pissed my pants. 8 years later, at the Montreux Jazz Festival, I played piano with him. After the set I reminded him of that night. He laughed as if he remembered. After he finished laughing he said what a shame it was that Lionel wasn’t playing anymore… I never mentioned anything about being there to see Lionel Hampton. Makes me wonder if he really did remember.

I made it several more years playing piano. But it just became too much. Perfection… I thought I had to be perfect and I just didn’t think I was. God, when did music have to be perfect? That’s what makes it so amazing… live music… it’s not perfect… it’s not fucking perfect… mmmm…. yeah.

I started this post earlier in response to something I read… and in response to some comments that were made about my earlier posts. Trying to explain myself. I’m not sure what for really. Maybe I’m trying to justify the fact that I gave up everything for absolutely nothing. Fuck I don’t know. But I do know that I’m stuck in this small down in Indiana. I’m miserable. I know what I am capable of. I know what I want… no, no, I really do. I’m just so fucking scared to ask for it… scared to go out there and get it. Scared to be who I am. I had it at one time. I had it there in Montreux, Switzerland playing piano for Dizzy for sure. I was 16 for God’s sake! I was from a tiny town in Indiana. How does that even happen?

I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. And, that is just fine. I have spent too much time worrying about them. That much I am quite certain of…

6 thoughts on “Certainties?

  1. As the daughter of a professional violinist I am so incredibly impressed with your talent and with your Montreux performance….the Dizzy story is priceless. I’m so sorry things are hard, and I’m thinking of you. I want happiness for you.

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