On April 8, 1973, the Maestro, my beloved father, suffered a massive heart attack and
died. Picasso died on the same day. Both gifted artists in different fields. One known and
respected and talked about by millions worldwide decades after his death. The other
known by a few musicians, actors, film producers and lovers of jazz and dance tunes
nationwide of his generation. But to members of his family and to band/orchestra music
aficionados of the mid-1900’s, his music lives on.
Daddy and I had spoken earlier that evening and ended our conversation with, “I’ll
talk to you tomorrow.” Instead, I received a very early phone call from my brother
Donald, who was living with my parents at the time.
“Sorry to greet you so early with bad news, Carol. Daddy died last night.”
“Daddy . . . what? Just like that, he died?” I heard myself say the words, but a voice
over the phone delivering such an unexpected message wasn’t real. I had laughed and
talked with him just before bedtime. He was getting ready for a cross-country trip. He
hadn’t said a word about not feeling well. I felt myself go numb and then cold. “Is this a
“I wouldn’t joke about something like this, Carol.” “Are you at the hospital? Is Mother
with you? Should I come?” My heart was in my throat and it took all my strength to hold
the phone receiver steady in my hand.
“We’re at home. There was no reason for him to be taken to the hospital. Neither of us
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