Hawaii: Bird of Paradise.
I was telling David about seeing the famous pianist, Andre Watts, perform in Bangkok, Thailand, where I worked as an English teacher in 1969. And, then, I lived in Europe for three months and in New York City for 5-1/2 years, where I was exposed to the best classical performers in the world. I saw the Russian ballet dancer, Mikhail Barishnikov, the Russian cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Polish violinist, Henryk Szeryng, among others.
But, when I was a child, growing up in Hawaii, all I was exposed to were religious movies (such as “The Ten Commandments,” starring Charlton Heston as Moses) and religious ceremonies (Sunday Mass in the morning and Sunday Benediction in the evening). My mother was a devout Roman Catholic. Boring!
My father’s idea of a good time was taking us to the circus to see David Nelson (rock star Ricky Nelson’s brother) perform on the trapeze. Boring!
“So, what was your childhood like?” I asked my husband.
“Oh, when I look back on my childhood, I have only positive memories,” David replied.
His father took the entire family to the Waikiki Shell several times during the 1950s. In 1959, they saw Van Cliburn perform on the piano, a year after he won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He is the first and only American pianist to win this competition.
The following year, David’s father again took the family to the Waikiki Shell to see Bobby Darin sing his big hits (such as “Mack the Knife”) and Ginny Tiu, the child prodigy, play the piano.
They also saw The Kingston Trio perform folk music.
All of these wonderful musicians all in their prime! Wow!
How I wish I had experienced such exciting entertainment as a child!
This is the sort of conversation that my husband and I have these days. We like to talk and reminisce about our lives before we met each other.