| It Has Been A Rough Year |
I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome. I wish ...
| The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins |
The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.
http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml
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Richard 's Story > Chapters > San Francisco Years 1960-67
| Date Range: 08/15/1960 To 05/15/1970 ||
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San Francisco 1960-63
The world of the early 1960’s I scarcely remember, although little hints come from time to time, as well as echos of the past through memorobilia, pictures, photographs and home films. My parents had their careers engaged in music as well as teaching. We moved about. In late 196o we moved from St. Charles Missouri to San Francisco and took residence over a very large old Victorian house in the vicinity of what was Haight Ashbury.
I was a child of two, perhaps three. The echos of this time in memory have me in the large front room or playing on the back porch, listening to the piano being played. The Large Victorian had many floors and had a gigantic stairway with ornate glass and embellishmet. I remember this place only as a shadow in time. This building had been residence to the French Embassy at one time and filled my memories for many years. (Similar building in illustration..though not the actual Embassy. The building later had been torn down in the late 1960's to make room for a modern apartment building..but this photo serves the purpose...just about like this)
The building was divided...the back portion and down a flight of stairs were reserved for the students of my parents. In the parlor was a wonderful rosewood concert grand where my parents gave lessons to their students. Recollections of the residence after this in a turn of the century building on Clay Street (San Francisco) are equally vague, although shadows do play. Moreover the memories are triggered in a sense by the music I still heard in the fathoms of my mind as a shadow, my parents, the intensity and of course the piano.
At our large residence in San Francisco I still have memories of visitors.
Some of my memories were when the great Dutch virtuoso Egon Petri came over for dinner many times. I remember when he came over and asked me to come to the piano and sat me down and spanned my fingers over the keyboard and gave me a mini piano lesson of a chord or two in progression. I remember at least two times he came over and played a mini recital of his upcoming concert.
He was a stern man who seemed quite playful to me at points, seeming to like children and somehow understand their ways.
He was very impressed at the lavishly decorated house that was lent and rented to my parents for a time after our arrival in San Francisco. My father was always away on concert tours it seemed. Still at this young age I remember the traveling and lines in the airport to distant destinations. We went to Europe one fall. I remember the long flight on a TWA Constellation (an antique aircraft today) and a gigantic KLM logo, with a Dutch airline stewardess watching over me as a child from New York to Amsterdam. It was my fathers tour to record the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #1 (Ozan Marsh Live) in Europe, with VLR, that made this destination a reality.
We moved again after six months to another apartment in San Francisco for a few more months before my parents went in for the great family investment of a wonderful house.
The 1960's were far different than today. It seemed that there was an energy in the air, and opportunity seemed to amplify this energy.
My father had 100's of concerts with the Boston Pops on tour as well as 100's more with Columbia's Community Concert series.
I do remember flying many times to see my father on occasion on a mid-tour to find a enthusiastic man who loved his family and could see no real problems. As a child I had everything I could ever dream, a wonderful family who supported me and cared as well as a life that was almost dreamlike.
Looking back my parents were doing very well in San Francisco. My mothers position as piano professor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as my fathers teaching and concert tours were enough to live an enjoyable life.
The world that I am speaking of is vastly different than today however (2012) This was 1960-63 and an era of growth in the United States. Things were reasonable by todays standards, and the lifes of many were sought by a single income. My parents however both worked hard at their careers maintaining 10’s of thousands of hours in practice as well as teaching piano. (Of course this is literally impossible today 2010 where people sometimes have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet, and most positions today dont pay very well.....my parents did this all during their lives and they were classical musicians, teachers and artists!...How times have changed!)