Wednesday, December 19, 2007

of ledgers & memories

Mom brought a ledger to me this morning of the ledger dad used to keep track of his bookings and payment for the orchestra. Something I didn't know, but inside the front cover of the ledger scrawled in dad's handwriting is the name Henry Westrook and his Carolinians. He also wrote 12 piece band beneath it. I wonder how long he kept that name until changing it to the H Westbrook Orchestra. This ledger ran from 1937 to 1941. The ledger is chock full of gig dates. He really kept his orchestra booked. The first portion of the book has musician names and how much they were paid. It's interesting to flip through.
I believe that this is some of the material that dad brought with him from that South Carolina trip dad and I made almost 30 years ago. My uncle Murdock had been keeping dad's old trunk of orchestra related papers. I put the trunk on the walkway at the foot of the steps so dad could position his wheelchair next to and inspect the dusty-musty contents. I remember sitting on the front steps of Uncle Murdock's house one sunny winter morning rummaging through it with dad. We had a garbage can next to the trunk and Dad threw most of it away and kept only a small portion of it.
I remember the trip well. It was the first time that Mom and Dad had been apart for a period of time. My mother's father, Fred Davidson, was ill and she wanted to fly out to California to see before he passed. Dad and I dropped Mom off at the Atlanta airport and then drive to Columbia for the week. It was a nice trip...my aunts Florence, Rutha and uncle Wofford were still alive then. We spent the week with Dad's siblings which also include Murdock, Jennie Llew, and Pat. Trips to Columbia have always been pleasant ventures. It's been at least seven years since I've been back.

I remember when the family would pile into the station-wagon (family of eight mind you) during the Christmas holidays and drive out to Columbia. That's when grandmother was still living and what a spread we'd have for breakfast - on the best china. It is like a Rockwell painting forever hanging in my memory.
Post a Comment