Tuesday, April 21, 2020

EP 005 Accordion Lessons, Space Food Sticks, Gayla Kites, and so much more.



Like every average middle-aged Gen-X member, I recall fondly sitting on my davinette when the door to door accordion salesman knocked on our door.  This man was no ordinary accordion salesman; he sold the whole package, accordion, and accordion lessons.  After he was allowed in the home, which is what you did in those days, he sat down and pulled out this amazing instrument that had chrome appliques and plastic parts that appeared to forged from a bowling ball.  At this point, I wasn’t sure what to think of this man in a corduroy sport coat with a giant amalgamation of a musical instrument. Then he began to rip through the theme song to Superman and wow, just wow.  His pitch continued, and after he left, I expressed my interest in being an accordion player like the great Lawrence Welk, who grandma watched religiously every Sunday night.  A short time later, I would begin my journey at the Larry Pino Conservatory and would earn the Golden Accordion Pin for my hard work and effort.  And yes, I did learn to play Superman and Starwars in addition to Camptown Races, Greensleeves, and a variety of polka music.

I do regret to inform you that Larry Pino of the Larry Pino Conservatory has since past away at the age of 97 in 2019.  A veteran of World War II, a copper miner, and of course, the founder of eight music studios in Salt Lake City valley, which employed 38 teachers, he was a man who made a difference in many lives.  The story in the opening paragraph wouldn’t play out in 2020, but a child of little means being able to learn to play a musical instrument, and play it well was genuinely freeing and taught me that nothing was out of my reach.  The first lesson at the Larry Pino  Conservatory taught me how far I was from playing Superman, but hours of practice and lessons paid off.  At no time since do I recall such self-satisfaction with an accomplishment.  Mr. Pino, you are missed!

After Accordion practice after school on a spring day, I would enjoy some gourmet food in the form of a Space Food Stick and grab my kite and head to the field between the barn and the church.  If the wind was right, I could anticipate a direct launch of the venerable Gala Bat.
Mine had the yellow keel and wooden dowel to keep the delta wing spread.  A good launch is what I found, and as if the Bat was a siren, Eric and Brent arrived before I had let out half the spool.  The word satisfying litters young writing too much today, and I am tossing it out there again, this activity was satisfying.  Until a lousy gust upended the Bat and drove it to the ground tip first, the concussion of the landing broke the wooden dowel and prompted the angst of a young kite less boy in Granger.

The only cure for a broken kite was an episode of Adam 12 because someone in the universe needed to go to jail as punishment for the death of my Gayla Bat. II hope you are enjoying my stories, and to keep the party going click on the episode below, or find the show Frequency 13 wherever fine podcasts are available.

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