|Painting by Mabel Frances Layng, 1920|
There is something funny I must tell you here, about Johnny Dickinson, who taught flute and piccolo. He was about four feet eleven inches tall, and very fat in the tummy. Sometimes I went along with Charlie to his lesson, and never once did we leave there without a chocolate bar each. He was an ex-player of one of the London, England symphony orchestras. He was marvelous on the flute. He was a bachelor, and Jessie Andrews and I were with him when he died of a stroke, at 70 years. He was jolly all the time and we liked him.
The scene Mom paints is charming, lively, brimming with music and laughter. She and my father encouraged music in my childhood home, too, and we would gather around the old piano and belt out choruses from "Messiah" at Christmas time, with a talented friend at the piano. My brother and I were more interested in guitars and rock music than classical. I, too, as a mother of three girls, encouraged live music in the home, accompanied by piano, or guitar or banjo, but technology had moved on, and they spent a lot of time listening to LP (long play) records. My grandchildren listen to music, but do not sing or play instruments. A beautiful tradition has died out.