Sampson napping on his favorite rug

Sampson napping on  his favorite rug
happy, happy, happy

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Never In A Million Years"

This post will be a bit of whimsy and nostalgia. I'm placing it here as the first post so that people will be curious and log onto the blog and see the post about Leo and his rescue organization which is directly after this one :)

This post will require a bit of imaging. Most people who are acquainted with me know that my childhood and youth (well, most of my life) was in music performance at venues of many descriptions. My mother was a very active "stage mom"  :) When I was 19 years old and had left my home of origin (actually, had been run off by my sibling who was not a nice person), my mom saw an ad in the newspaper about a vocal group looking for an additional singer who can do harmonies. She renewed her interest in being backstage and insisted that I inquire and I found myself with three guys who were going to sing and one additional guy who was a talented piano player. The building was very old and in the center of New Haven (CT), about two or three floors up in an old building. The floors were that nice, worn-looking kind of wood. I didn't really want to be doing this kind of music... I was 19 and these guys were in their mid-thirties (old) and the piano player, Tony, must have been in his 50s. They called what we were doing "progressive jazz"; of course I was much more enthused about rock and roll. Well, we practiced there and at each other's houses for a while, then added our own instruments ... me on piano, Charlie on guitar, and Geno on bass ... or sometimes Charlie would play the bass and Geno would play some kind of hand rhythm instrument ... later Ray entered the scene and played drums. By this time I was really enjoying the harmonies ... very close jazz chords on some terrific old (at that time) songs ... and Tony kept saying "Rock won't last, it won't last!" This is all leading up to what I want to tell you :)

One night while we were in the old building, we heard footsteps coming up the stairs.  It was a  smiling middle-age man of stocky build and I think he was carrying in his own huge stand-up bass. The guys knew him and asked him if he'd like to do a song and in a split second he responded by saying "Sure" and I heard my very first vocal and bass solo as he launched into a spell-binding rendition of "Never In A Million Years". I'd never heard the song before.  It was mesmerizing to me and at that moment, the bass became a much-loved instrument to me. I later realized that the bass sound is very important to me when I play piano or my split keyboard (which has a bass function). As a matter of fact, a saxophone player who came to my house five or six years ago, jubilantly exclaimed "A keyboard player with a left hand!"  

The song "Never In A Million Years" has stayed alive somewhere in the background of my mind and, recently, I looked for the lyrics on the Internet.  I made myself a lead sheet and have added the song to my repertoire :)    


D.E.L.T.A. Rescue Needs Help ...

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue (Dedication and Everlasting Love To Animals) Needs Help!  This is the largest "no kill and care-for-life" animal sanctuary of its kind in the world, home to more than 1500 animals who had been abandoned in the wilderness.  Located in a lovely high desert area of Los Angeles, it's surrounded by rolling hills.

Founded by Leo Grillo, it is a genuine 501(c)3 non-profit organization and has an "A" top charity rating. (Guide Star is one of the reliable ways to look up financial information about non-profit organizations ... especially look at the fund-raising expenditures). D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has two veterinary hospitals and a full-time veterinary staff on the premises and state-of-the-art equipment to provide care for each animal's needs. In 1979, Leo put his career on hold when he began rescuing dogs, puppies, and cats who had been dropped off and abandoned in the wilderness. He says that people told him he was a "fool" to devote his life to rescuing animals, but he stayed with it for going on forty years.

I heard from Leo recently and he is urgently hoping for some new donors, because many of his long-time donors have grown old and passed away. He says that he can't compete for funds with organizations that have professional fund-raisers and who have very effective television ads. He is asking each person who reads his appeal (let this post serve as a part of his appeal, please), to tell another person ... and pass the word along.

The work he has done and is doing is vital and admirable. This is a very good man.  The website is at http://www.deltarescue.org. Donations can be made on the site via Pay Pal or can be mailed by postal mail to D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, c/o  Leo Grillo, P.O. Box 9, Glendale, CA 91209.