Tag Archives: San Francisco

Hal

I’m never quite sure how to handle writing about other people in these days of identity stealing. I’m following my general rule of no last names. Hal is a colleague of mine and a friend. He’s been the primary SF Symphony sound man since Davies Hall opened in 1980. I had worked on his crew for Symphony Pops at the Civic Auditorium in the late ’80s as well as some other jobs around town. When I came back to San Francisco ten years ago and got sent to a call at Davies, it was good to see him again.

In 2012, my involvement with the Symphony grew and I found myself working with Hal much more. Our birthdays are only about a week apart and our professional paths have some similarities. Neither of us had family or neighborhood contacts to help us get started in the business. We were driven by an intense interest in sound reinforcement and became successful by determination and hard work.

Our experiences coming of age in the ’60s was another commonality. The San Francisco music scene then was world class. We’ve had a lot of fun in the last few years talking about arcana from those days. He grew up in the City and I was on the Peninsula so he had more opportunity to see the various venues but I knew the names of who was in the bands, what instruments they played, and on what albums.

My first day back at work after Zach died was helping to put in the PA at Davies for Hal. (That was before we got the permanent one we have now.) When I asked to leave early he defended me to others who did not understand my grief as well. Over the next few months he showed me constant compassion and understanding for my grief.

After Sepi agreed to marry me, I started to think about the wedding and realized I needed a best man. Hal was an easy choice and he did not hesitate to say yes.

Last week I talked to him about some details of the wedding day and he told me he would take care of them because that was part of the deal. My nature is not to ask for help but, as he did before, he stepped up because he knew it was the right thing to do.

As of a couple of weeks ago, Jeremy was able to get his work to release him so he will be standing with me as well but Hal is still the best man. Sarah will be up there too. I am proud to be supported by such fine people.

Winnie-the-Pooh

Now I’ve got the Pooh books out and I’m looking through them, remembering.

I remember the night at our home in San Francisco when, after reading from one of those books at Jeremy and Sarah’s bedtime, I lost track of it somehow. I asked Jeremy where it was and I thought he said he had thrown it out the window. Jeremy wasn’t more than three then.

The sill for the bedroom window was low and the window opened sideways so it was possible. I became frantic and went out onto the short roof outside the window to look for it. It wasn’t there so I thought maybe he tossed it farther and it went down into the back yard. I couldn’t find it there although it was dark and I could have missed it. All I could think of was that this was the book my father had given me as a child and I’ve lost it.

Then we found it. I don’t remember where it was. Behind a chair or something. Boy was I relieved.

Here’s a little bit from the last story in Winnie-the-Pooh:

‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’

‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’

‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.