Four pianists. Four organists. One church.
Hard to imagine this happened, but it did – and not too long ago. Early 2000’s (probably around 2003 … the Bicentennial celebration of Zion Lutheran church in Hollidaysburg, Pa.). This was during the time when all four of us (Donna, Bev – aka “mom” -, Gail, and I) were on staff as keyboard specialists. If you are wondering who was my mom, you aren’t looking close enough.
Churches are in need of organists. The very church in which this picture was taken is currently looking for a full-time organist. I am busy with other endeavors, but holding down the fort Saturday night. Donna and Gail are doing what they can on a very limited basis. Mom, unfortunately for all of us, passed away. We have a very active praise band led by a talented group of musicians and a young man fills in at the organ when he can on Sundays. I think this is happening in a lot of churches, although, I have no concrete evidence supporting such a claim.
How fortunate Zion was to have all four of us. If you know me at all, this is written in the most humblest of ways. The differences in our playing styles and gifts were evident. Mom and I had the great fortune of a maternal “organ” gene passed down from her mom, Janet, who played professionally in Chicago before the depression forced her back to Pittsburgh, into marriage, and a steel-mill/steady job life with a husband and family. She managed to play regularly in churches around the city. In her retirement, when she relocated to Hollidaysburg, she played at the Methodist church on Walnut Street and at Zion on occasion.
Gail is born and bred Zion. She has gifted Zion with her skills as long as I can remember … plus she’s older than I. Insert slight chuckle here. Donna? Well, I don’t know much about her, sadly. She’s always been willing to jump in and play – quite well if I might say so.
So, that’s the summary to date. I love this picture of us. If the date I mentioned above is correct, the three of us alive today are sixteen years older. Yuk. THAT I don’t like. Within those years, I’ve lost mom, dislocated one and then sliced open the other thumb thirteen years later, started a goofy/fun hotdawg business, and really found out some strange things about myself. So, so many strange things over the 4×4 years that have passed. Don’t ask.
If only I could tug on my mom’s ear one more time. She’d understand, I’m sure.