An apple for the teacher
Thursday February 07th 2008, 11:07 am
Filed under: Family,Life

Jazz apple on original Bigfoot shawlI was in Trader Joe’s yesterday, and picked up a bag of a type of apple I’d never heard of before, a Jazz apple. Huh. Well, always curious to try a new type, sure.

I ate one in the evening and immediately wanted a lifetime supply on hand. This was *good*! Where do I get me a tree of these to put in the backyard!? Longtime readers will remember my mourning the lack of Spencers in California, but oh my goodness these were what an apple is supposed to be like! Googling the name, I came up with this link.

One tangent danced me straight to another. To remembering Tim, one of the best teachers my kids ever had in school, who taught them to love to play music and to love jazz and to love one another. He taught jazz at both the middle and high schools. His older band participated in a national high school competition at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and did so well that his kids were invited to come back for the main Festival and play as professionals in the fall! Our kids aspired to be in that second band.

So we drove the family to Monterey to hear the juniors and seniors play at that competition. One of the pieces they placed with was written by one of the kids in that group. Another was Bedtime for Bigfoot. I LOVE that piece. And I loved watching those kids having the time of their lives. Tim, bless him, started them on the downbeat, and then, with a huge smile on his face and a nod to his kids, walked off the stage: this was their shining moment, they knew how to do it, and he wanted the glory to all go to them, not him. Bigfoot never had such a good time as they did that day. I can still picture them. Rock on!

They performed it again later in the year at the high school, and an hour after that concert was over, I asked my then-11-year-old son to sing me the first note of that piece. He nailed it dead on. And that’s when I absolutely knew that that child had perfect pitch too, a musician like his mom. More than, definitely–he totally outshines me now, which is a lot of fun. You know the “hum a few bars and I’ll play it?” Outrageously well? That’s him.

Tim left to pursue a doctorate and left a deep gap behind him. We still hear from him from time to time, to our great delight when he checks in. He got married last summer, and I knitted up something new: one of my circular shawls in a laceweight rather than fingering weight, designed just for them, in white, fine enough to go through a wedding ring except for being snug at those reinforced neck stitches. Better make it a man’s size wedding ring.

Bedtime for Bigfoot. As I eat my Jazz apple.

And suddenly–what, three years after I knitted and named the first one?–it hits me. Why I named my feather-and-fan-variant shawl in my book what I did. Yeah, because it’s an expansion of the Rabbit Tracks pattern, but…


And just before Tim moved away, I bought the CD of those kids playing. I play my CDs while I’m sitting knitting. Bedtime for Bigfoot. I just never, ever put it together before.

I want me more of those apples.

3 Comments so far
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We dont have Jazz apples here, but we have a brand called Pink Lady and Boy are they good too! My son unlike most of us in my family Sings very well. We just like to sing, He really can:-)He lives with his dad so we only get to hear him at concerts cuz the ornery thing (hes MY son you know)wont sing for us here at home

Comment by Danielle from SW MO 02.07.08 @ 1:55 pm

Oscar is heading off to our favorite market today, I’ve asked him to look out for some Jazz apples. I grew up eating great produce, and I LOVE a good apple, My favorite variety recently is Ginger Crisp.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 02.07.08 @ 2:55 pm

Must be nice to be able to sing on key! Cool!
I’m on the lookout for those apples now. 🙂

Comment by Toni 02.08.08 @ 11:12 am

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