Sunday, June 28, 2009


Today's post is a change of pace, and is far overdue at that. I've not written about my own life here much, and not really at all about my family. I don't intend to make a habit of it, either, but this is the time for an exception.

I wanted to write a bit about my older daughter Wendy, express my pride and admiration at her accomplishments, and share a bit of her talent. Wendy turned 18 last month, graduated from High School earlier this month, and will be attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the fall, studying Photography and Education.

When we went to a "Portfolio Day" event last spring, the woman from the school who did the review and critique was greatly taken with Wendy's work, and offered a scholorship more or less on the spot. Months later, we learned that she had written that it was the best portfolio she'd seen all day.

Wendy is self assured, focused, comfortable with who she is, and passionate about her social and political views, and I'm happy and impressed with the young woman she has grown to be.

Here are a few of Wendy's photos:

Wendy is also an accomplished musician, having played violin since age six and clarinet since age ten. She was already one of the best clarinetists at her High School by Sophomore. She will not be continuing those studies, at this time, but has played in countless concerts and solo performances, and has also played as a solo and as part of accompaniments at the various musical parties we've held or taken part in.

While the following track does not show her instrumental abilities, it does include her as a singer, and quite a good one, too. Years ago, my two best friends and I, along with my mother, learned the intricate vocal arrangements of three songs as sung by The Weavers. For a party last Spring - our first musical party after my mother's death - Wendy honored the memory of her grandmother by singing two Weavers' songs with the other three of us. This is a fairly ragged performance in places (particularly my vocals, unfortunately) but we did a damn good job (in my opinion) of learning a challanging group of "weaving" vocal parts, from the original records.

I believe the overall sound is really nice, and that Wendy's part shines - she certainly sounds more like her Weaver (Ronnie Gilbert) then any of us guys sound like ours. That's me singing the Pete Seeger parts, which include the first solo verse, and the verse after Wendy's:

And here's Wendy herself:


Anonymous said...

What I appreciate most and what comes through on Facebook, I think, is that Wendy is indeed self-assured, focused and comfortable with who she is. A great way to live, and a tribute to her parents!

BTW, I didn't realize you and I shared many favorite movies!

Stu Shea said...

beautiful girl, beautiful photography.

Sammy Reed said...

The song isn't working now.