While doing an Internet search for something completely unrelated today, I came across the following interview that was published in the New York Times, Sunday Magazine on June 9, 1991. We (family) hadn’t known that this was the scheduled publishing date for the article. Dad died on the previous Thursday, June 6th. I can still remember how I felt coming across this article just a few days later. I didn't like the article when I first read it. Perhaps that was because Dad and I had very recently discussed it when he was sent a draft sometime the month before. He was upset with me for a comment I made referring to "us" (the offspring) as "casualties of war". He knew what I meant by that and even agreed, but he was upset and feeling a bit betrayed by my comment. I think it had surprised him that I had said this, as I had always been his biggest and most vocal DEFENDER! At that time, I had spoken the truth about growing up in the 'Jazz World”… (I really don’t like that term!) When I read the article that Sunday, I understood why he had been saddened by my words. He knew he was dying. I hadn’t known. I was being told that he was still fighting the good fight… and winning. Needless to say, I was horribly guilty and sad that I had said anything at all that would be understood as being negative.
Last summer I spoke with the author, Joe Hooper. He sent me a copy of it and I read it again for the first time in 16 years. This time I had a very different opinion. I realized that I haven’t considered myself to be a “casualty of war” for many years! I must have felt that way at that time, but that has long since faded. I suppose my view from ‘this’ end (age wise!), is that our life “is what it is” and speaking for myself, I am who I am as a result of the life I was born into. We don’t have much control over our lives as children, but we certainly do once we become adult enough to realize that it’s all pretty much our own responsibility to be whom we are or how we choose to walk in our own shoes. I now don’t regret what I said in the article nor do I wish any of my childhood could have been different. I cherish all the good memories I have (and there are many!) and I’m proud of my father, for all that he was, all that he accomplished in his life and for the beautiful legacy he left behind… under very difficult circumstances. Being children in that household certainly had it’s challenges, but being Stan was much more difficult and painful. I’m certain of that.
I’m posting this article and my little blurb as I felt like ‘sharing’ it today! Tomorrow I may feel differently… but as “Dear Old Dad” used to say…. “Ahhh…Who Cares”! (Always said while exhaling with a deep sigh!). I think whoever chooses to read the article will find it insightful (thank you Joe Hooper – very thoughtfully written), and interesting.
Follow link below to read article.
Stan Getz Through the Years
By JOSEPH HOOPER;
Published: June 9, 1991