8/14/09

Robin Lawson Played in our Backyard!



My story may be unique to you, but it’s not unique to many who live in my valley. Many would say that their life is richer from knowing a great man, Robin Lawson, who left this world on Sunday at the young age of 70.
 
Robin Lawson played music in our backyard – twice! Once, for my husband’s 30th surprise birthday party, and a few years back, for this party.
 
Both times I surprised my husband as I hired Robin’s jazz trio to come and play – adding beautiful ambience to the parties that even our neighborhood could enjoy, listening in over the fence.
 
I remember the night of this party, Robin sitting off to the side with Jim and Lyle, each devouring a plate of dinner that we saved for them. 

Later, at our son’s piano lesson, Robin told me that this party was one of the most meaningful “gigs” he had ever done.  He went on and on about the people, the food, the purpose – the night!
 
That was a HUGE compliment to me, the hostess, but also to my husband’s message and the celebration of the night, as Robin and his partners listened in. I know we aren’t special. I know we are one of probably thousands of families touched by this man’s life.
 
Robin was a brilliant musician. For over a year our son Elliot took jazz piano lessons from him. And then Elliot decided he was finished with piano. He just quit (frustrating for the parents, right?).  Now, five years later, Robin Lawson’s influence has been resurrected in our son’s musical abilities.  He’s venturing out in all directions with his piano playing – the latest in jazz, inverting chords and playing by ear. He just learned Billy Joel’s Piano Man, adding a touch of jazz to the beginning.
 


We took our son to a concert at the Ginger Rogers Theatre, where Robin performed with his wife and many other valley musicians. What’s remained in my mind was more than Robin’s music, but also the love shown toward his wife that radiated through the entire evening. For some reason I always pick up on those vibes.  

I like to know there is harmony in the individuals behind the performance and the popularity. I like to know that people are real and their priorities are in balance.
 
I had to call Elliot yesterday and tell him that the world lost a great man. There was silence on the other end. Then Elliot started telling me all he had learned from his teacher, and his enjoyment of his English accent.
 
We always talked about having Robin and his lovely wife Pam over for dinner. But we never did. That is something I now regret.
 
But at least we have his influence. 

Influences never leave us, do they?
 
Has any musician touched or influenced your family?

(Winner of the Briefcase BBQ - Fiona!)

8 comments:

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Truly a touching story. I don't believe an influence can ever leave us.

susan said...

Thanks for a lovely story and reminder not to procrastinate when it comes to sharing our lives eith others!

Betsy said...

What a sweet story...he enriched your lives...and you enriched his! :)

NicNacManiac said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful story. A great tribute to a much loved man with so much talent!!

Fiona said...

Thanks SO much for the BBQ. We will love it!!! Such a blessing!!

Brenda Leyland said...

Music always adds so much to any gathering! Thanks for a lovely posting.

Hopefull said...

live music is such a gift to give your kids! so happy you shared this.

jdm said...

Lovely remembrance.

The musician that greatly touched and influenced my life would have been my dad. My childhood memories of holidays and family gatherings are totally connected to my dad playing the guitar and getting everyone involved in sing-alongs. In his later years, he did the nursing home rotation, touching others with music of old. I loved watching as the residents whose memories may have been long-gone would be mouthing the words to songs he sang.

I had to marry a man who played guitar. God provided answer to that prayer. God also blessed my family with vocal and musical ability so that we could perform together.

Two tender moments for me came at my dad's funeral last summer--when my son walked up to the front of the church, picked up my dad's guitar that was displayed and joined my husband, daughter and me as we sang Chris Tomlin's "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone". My daughter's strong voice and the strings of my father's guitar resonated through the sanctuary, giving great praise to God and great honor to a really good man.

Thank you for asking this question.

Stories about my dad and mum can be found at:

http://damngoodsoldier.blogspot.com/