In Loving Memory of My Uncle Herb
My Uncle Herb was a fine musician, an especially treasured personality in my life.
He would periodically come back home to the farm for an extended family visit,
and musically walk into my world and my young life.
He was a true artist, a musician's musician,
a Renaissance man in love with life, and in tune with his special time;
he was a poet, writer, conductor, and recognized composer,
and he could hold his own with the best
in the worst of times.
He treated me as if I were very special,
and he always said I was musically talented, too.
Uncle Herb encouraged me to follow my dreams of becoming a musician
and I listened to his professional advice,
as my dreams came true.
He lived in New York City with my pretty Aunt Nita,
and had many musician friends and famous people in his life.
He told wonderfully animated stories of his encounters
as I sat wide-eyed,
listening with a young aspiring musician's attentive ear, well into the country night.
He was musical coach for Diahann Carroll…., Eydie Gorme, Dianne Warwick,
Teresa Brewer, and the list goes on…..,
and performed with many famous jazz bands of the 30's, 40's, and early 50's
such as The Glenn Miller Band,
a legend that will forever live on.
I cherished the very ground he musically walked on,
and there was a special and exciting feeling of anticipation in the country air,
when Uncle Herb called long distance from New York City,
and said he would arrive on the “Night Train”
in the morning's cool country air.
I would happily ride with my Mother to the station,
and would wait on the platform by the railroad tracks in the soft light of the morn
as I peered anxiously down the tracks in the foggy long distance,
hoping for a sign of his train coming round the bend
or anything at all.
I saw a bright light shinning through the fog's lifting
as I heard the late “Night Train's” loud whistle blow,
signaling Uncle Herb's arrival from the bright lights of the big city,
and I smiled with anticipation as it started to snow.
When the train pulled up to the station, I looked with expectation
as a man in a fur coat and hat got off the train.
His silhouette was framed in a burst of steam from the big train's engine,
as a small crowd gathered round,
and Uncle Herb said a big “Hello” as he happily waived with a special flare.
When he walked over to the platform where we were standing,
I peeked around my Mother's dress tail as I said “Hi” in a shy little girl's special way.
He gave us both big hugs and kisses, then loaded up the car in a hurry,
and we headed out in a happy chatter in the morning dawn,
in the Currier and Ives snowy winter's glaze.
My Uncle Herb was a personality and family treasure,
a Renaissance man in love with life, and in tune with his special time.
I will always lovingly remember our family's happy times,
and my precious childhood memories
as I hear Uncle Herb begin to improvise on “Sweet Georgia Brown”,
and “Gabriel” plays right along at his side.
~ Sharon Eidemiller Borouchoff