Oh, I've heard him yell. Once in a minivan going into Okemah from the Oklahoma City airport he was hollering on his phone at his agent who couldn't get some kind of Obama event straight. It's never mean, though. My pal, David Amram, has all the attributes of a child, that is, all the innocence that we come with right out of the package.
Innocent! Wait a minute. Wasn't he one of the beats? Didn't he hang out with Kerouac and Ginsberg and Corso? Isn't he the same guy who was the first composer in residence for the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein's closest friend? Didn't the state department send him to Eastern Europe with Louis Armstrong as an Ambassador of Jazz? Yeah. Big deal. That's what I thought 'til I heard that he had been with Lord Buckley the day that he died. Now we're dropping names.
David Amram is a genius. Yeah, he's classically trained and probably one of the all time French horn artists. The thing about David, though, is that he's a soul musician. He communicates with music and with love. He knows that stuff at the molecular level. He radiates both. That's rare.
Marilyn was all that, too. Those folks are special. They're never tough.
I always thought of suicide as a product of insanity. Only a crazy person would kill himself. The first time that I ever had the blues so bad that it looked like oblivion was the only way out it changed my view. Now I almost feel sorry for anyone who hasn't gone to the bottom. It's a swell reminder of how beautiful life is.
In water aerobics this morning I was right next to the infants in the life saving class where they somehow manage to train them to flip over onto their backs in the water. When you hear their sweet, innocent crying you're reminded of everything that life is about. It's all about the babies. Our job is to love and protect and take care of their world.
Marilyn's memory reminds us that we let a lot of our precious ones down. David's legacy is a reminder of what love and innocence can be.
Use your love. Don't hoard a bit of it. There's a shortage out there.