There’s a draft in there
Tuesday October 15th 2013, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Family,History,Life

There was a convocation at Stanford tonight, the speaker being a former conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and now dean of the college of the arts at Utah State University, and Richard, his sister, her husband, my father-in-law, his sister and her husband and Michelle all went.

I didn’t risk it. Nobody needs my germs.

The speaker told of the time he ended up performing on a USO tour and how the experience had changed his life, and how he only got invited to do so because someone else who was to be on it had been drafted at the last second.

He didn’t say the drafted soldier was a dear friend. He did say that the group he thus got to be in sang for a soldier who had lost all his limbs in his service in Vietnam and the man had never spoken a word since his injuries. He did not seem to have any response to their presence.

Their last song was “God Be With You Till We Meet Again,” and at that there were tears running down the man’s face and he whispered, “Thank you. Thank you.”

They’d shared their voices and he had at last found his own.

The power of presence, the power of music: the experience changed what Craig Jessop did with his life.

The friend who’d been drafted, he did not know, was sitting in that audience listening to him tell the tale–and that was Richard’s Uncle Nate.

The family all stopped by here afterwards for a brief visit and hugs, braving my germs and I finally got to see them (Richard did yesterday); it had been a long day, though, and Dad was tired, so they didn’t stay long before heading back up the mountains. We sent them off with a chocolate torte out of our freezer for their last full day in California tomorrow.

It was very kind of them. I’m so glad I got to have a little time with them at last.

And so glad that Nate got to see his old friend.

4 Comments so far
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Yay for getting to see them!

Comment by RobinM 10.16.13 @ 6:23 am

Your story brought tears to my eyes.

Comment by Donald Meyer 10.16.13 @ 8:37 am

It made me cry, too. Music is powerful stuff, for sure. Then again, so is chocolate cake. 🙂 So glad you got to see them!

Comment by Pam 10.16.13 @ 10:01 am

Tears here too. So beautiful.

Comment by Channon 10.16.13 @ 5:50 pm

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