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Remembering Stan...

"Stan Getz Through The Years", by Joseph Hooper - NY Times Magazine, Sunday June 9, 1991

Originally posted this as a 'forum' piece. I meant for it to be a blog. Still trying to navigate my way around here! So... Please excuse the double posting!

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.


Please follow the link below to read article.

Stan Getz Through the Years
Published: June 9, 1991

Views: 51

Comment by Hilde Hefte on August 5, 2008 at 3:56pm
Thank you Bev for posting this - it is so interesting, well written, and your intro to this article gives this even more depth (sorry if I spelled the last word wrong :)).
Comment by Benson A. Wong on April 6, 2009 at 3:36am
I remember this article. Stan called me and left a message on my recorder: "Ben, I need to talk to you." When we got together...First, he was so down...then he exploded in anger......then he was silent.....and then I explained how you and Steve were feeling growing up...all the emptiness, times of happiness, saddness, guilt, anger. disappointment, invalidation, love and hate all at the same time...having to hold all your feelings inside...all the ups and downs like a roller balance in life. Stan began to cry, and then he understood and acknowledged all the pain that he had caused you. By the end of our energy balancing/healing session...he was on a natural high and feeling pretty good. Just know that your dad really loved (loves) you and is very proud of you.
Comment by Bev Getz on April 6, 2009 at 10:39am
Oh Benson! I am so moved by your words! Thank you, thank you... for sharing this! I was SO guilty for years after he died about having said anything in that article. He was really upset with me and Steve. And of course, he died soon after, so we never had the opportunity to talk about it. As the years have passed, I've grown up and come to find an understanding and balance in all of it. What brings tears to me now, is discovering that you helped him through that and enabled him to find healing and peace around it. WHAT A GIFT! This information brings such peace to me now! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL BEN! THANK YOU! From my heart! XOXOXO
Comment by Benson A. Wong on April 7, 2009 at 5:53am
I have so much that I wanted to share with you and Steve way back then...but time just went by so fast. I don't even know where to start. I think the best way for me to express my thoughts is by posting short messages as I remember them...okay? Let me start out by saying that your dad left many wonderful memories, but he also realized that he was to blame for many of the unpleasant memories and scars that he left on his family. Your dad really did love and care about you and Steve. Many times he would ask me to take a look to see how you and Steve were doing, spiritually. He just wanted to hear that you two were doing ok. Dad knew that you and Steve were affected the most. Many times, we would just be talking about family and he would look at pictures of you and Steve...and a big smile would appear on his face...I could see that he was going back in time, enjoying the memories.

Also, please tell Katie that her grandpa really was crazy about her. He kept a picture of her in his wallet and would often take it out and kiss it. He just glowed when he thought of her. :)
Comment by Bev Getz on April 7, 2009 at 9:46am
Thank you Ben! Your words are a wonderful gift! And I look forward to whatever/whenever you post them!! (-;

Stan and Katie had an incredible connection. When we would spend time with him, I LOVED to watch the two of them interact! It was like watching Dad and his "Mini Me"!! HAHAHA!!! She was only about 3 or 4... and he was in his 60's. So funny and touching!

I know that you helped him greatly in in final years here. It gave me peace to know that you were in his life helping him find some peace and clarity. He REALLY needed that. Thank you! (~; xoxo
Comment by Hilde Hefte on April 7, 2009 at 6:59pm
These comments/stories are so touching, made me cry a little bit. Thank you Benson A. Wong and Bev. This makes the memory of a wonderful human being, father, friend, and unique musician more beautiful.
Thank you for sharing.
Comment by frankeric on August 5, 2009 at 3:04pm
Hi Bev. I think Hooper did a good write to convey who Stan was, to us outsiders. Joe's wording also caused me to evaluate my time as a father and husband. What I really love is Stan's comment on not dwelling to hard on the past but to be as good a person as one can be in the now.
Hugs and kisses, frank


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