Archive for April, 2011

Happy Birthday to Miles!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Miles, in my living room, playing my piano

I just got the most touching call. I thought I would share it here in my blog. It was just a call from my God-son Miles saying thank you for his birthday gift, but it blew me away. He can have that effect on me. So can his older brother Dylan. Both are so lovely and filled with gratitude. It’s rare in this town filled with over-indulged kids.

Fifteen years ago, I saw Miles being born and I was really rooting for his name to be Jasper. That name was a consideration and I was mad for it. I had never seen a baby being born, not even my own (three C-sections) and I was honored (and a little terrified). His parents named him Miles and I quickly adjusted, but harbored a fantasy that Kimberly, his mother might still change her mind.

As the smallest newborn, Miles was taken to my oldest son, Oliver’s Bar-mitzvah. My father, no longer with us was introduced that day to my God-son Miles. It was a moment caught on video and I always loved knowing that my father did get to meet this amazing boy. When Miles was very little, I would often tell Kimberly that my dad would have LOVED him and he would have said about him “he’s a winner”. Think New York accent when you hear/say winner and it’s winna.

When Augie and I walked in to Kimberly’s house to drop off a little gift today for Miles, his grandmother and aunt were there. Miles and his mother were at the gym working out. Miles’s Grandmother, Cindy and his Aunt Brenda asked me how I remembered that it was Miles birthday. And I answered “because it’s my half birthday”. Hello? I’m four years old and still celebrate my half birthday!!! Not really. But, it certainly makes it an easy day to remember. (more…)

Little Drummer Girl

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Fredrica Duke, Little Drummer Girl

I have a favorite sound, not that you asked. And no, it isn’t the obvious one, crashing waves. Nope. That’s my second choice.

I once went to Orange County with my husband to see a friend who was a famous jazz singer. She gave us free passes, we couldn’t resist. As we approached “will call” to retrieve our tickets, I overheard the orchestra tuning up. This was years ago. I looked at my husband and announced, “That is my favorite sound. So, if ever we are on The Newlywed Game and they ask you my favorite sound, that is what it is, please remember.” I doubt that he made a mental note of it, so we won’t be winning any game shows.

I have a prized possession – a note I wrote to my daddy when I was little. The note says that my grades are good enough to get into orchestra. Proudest moment of my life, and I needed to share the good news with my dad who was in London producing a play (and turning down an unknown band called the Beatles who wanted to come to the States). I looked forward to that day — being in the orchestra — my entire school life. I would watch the elegant older girls clutching their violins and dream of the day that that would be me.

I brought home the application for orchestra. There were a few questions on the form and I enlisted my brother Alan’s help. He asked me what instrument I wished to play. I said, as if there were any other answer, violin. He then said, “Okay, second choice.” I again said “violin.” He said “No, Fredde, they need a SECOND choice, what other instrument might you want to learn?” “Nothing Alan, I only want to learn to play the violin. Just put that and let me turn it in tomorrow, that’s good, thanks,” I said, as I tried to pry the paperwork from his hands. He refused to accept this as an answer because he goes by the rules. I kept insisting, “I ONLY want to play the violin and no other instrument — don’t even write one down.” Now it was a battle. “Listen,” Alan said, “the bells could be fun, you might find them easy since you already play a bit of piano? So, how about those bells?” “Okay, sure,” I reluctantly gave in just to get him off my back, and he filled out the rest of the form. (more…)