I received the following email this weekend from Karen Kuehl Lester. As you read Karen's email, you will understand how she was a part of our family back in the 60's.
I wanted to share Karen's memories with you all here in "Memories of Stan" as these are Karen's memories of Stan! I was so completely touched by what Karen wrote. She describes my Dad so beautifully. It's a part of him that most people never knew, but we knew so well.
I had a lovely conversation with Karen on the phone this evening. She told me something that made me smile! She said that Stan used to introduce her Dad, The Rev. Kuehl to his friends as "my Preacher"! LOL! Too funny! Especially coming from a nice Jewish boy!
Thank you Karen for getting in touch and for sharing your memories!
My name is Karen Kuehl. My Dad was Gus Kuehl and the minister at St.
Barnabas Episcopal Church in Irvington NY and our house was just
about across the street from your Dad's at the intersection of Main
and Broadway. Stevie and I were friends even though he was a grade
or two behind me. He promised me he would get me a Getz/Gilberto
Album as soon as it came out. We were in the school parking lot one
day and I asked him if the albums were out yet and he said he would
be right back (!). He took off at a full run (track star that he
was) and returned in about 15 minutes with the album. That was quite
a long run and all up hill! Your drive way was very steep. My
friends and I were appalled but I was so very grateful. I still have
that album. Steve and Monica (who was a friend of my mother's) came
with my folks to visit me on parents day at a camp we Kuehl kids all
went to in CT . We had a great time swimming in the lake and had a
great day together. I graduated from HS and went to college in FL
and we lost touch. Stevie wrote to me for a while but life took us
down different paths.
At one point Stan was going to try to play for a dance at my
college but we couldn't work it out. Gosh I had such a crush on
him. I remember you tearing around that huge house with your long
dark hair and always bare foot. You were a little pistol! One very
hot night a church group came up and swam in your pool. I remember
Stan coming up to check out the bedlam having just gotten home from
the city. He came to the edge of the pool and crouched down to say
hi. He was so hot. I put some cool water on his face. That was a
poignant moment for me at the age of 18.
When my Dad was called to a church in Rochester NY Stan was at the
fair well reception on Dad's last Sunday in Irvington. Dad was
leaving before we got out of school so we were staying behind until
after I graduated. Then we were off to camp. Stan mentioned that he
had a gig at St. John Fisher College there. He suggested to my Dad
that he bring me with him for a visit while he did the concert. I
couldn't believe it! We went to the airport with Joao and Astrid.
Gary Burton and Chuck Isreals met us at the plane. It was pretty
funny as chuck had to buy a ticket for the bass and strap it in.
Astrid could hardly speak any English then but she told me she liked
When we got to the college Joao said he could not go on. Evidently
this was something he did quite often. Stage fright leading to shear
terror. He said his guitar was broken. Well back in those days
(1964) EVERYONE had guitars! About 20 showed up instantly. No
excuses then so he went on and was wonderful. That was before Astrid
ever sang. Stan put me to work setting up a display of the albums,
photographs etc. out in the lobby and making sure the stock was
replenished. It was a wonderful trip for me. My Dad loved the
concert and I loved seeing my Dad. My mother was not so happy when I
go home at about 1:30 AM on a school night! She went out to the car
in her nightgown and stuck her head in Stan's window and chewed him
out for getting me home so late. I was mortified. But I floated on
air for about a week.
I remember jam sessions with Kai Winding, the Williams Brothers and
the Perry Como Singers. Those were very special times. I cherish the
albums I have. Such wonderful memories.
I know Stan had his troubles but he was kind to me and thought the
world of my Dad.
I am so glad I found this site. I would really love to find Steve.
I wonder if he even remembers me! If you could pass this on to him I
would really appreciate it.
Karen Kuehl Lester