Today in My History
18 May 2020
My friend Barbara, with whom I worked at Women's Health, was a huge Jose Carreras fan. For those unfamiliar with the name, he's the tenor you don't know that well, of the 3 tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras). My preference was Placido Domingo, but not to the extent Barbara was a fan of Carreras.
On May 17 in 1996, Carreras was giving a concert at Carnegie Hall and Barbara suggested Walt and I fly to New York and go to the concert with her.
I wasn't as excited to hear Carreras as I was to go to Carnegie Hall, where Judy Garland had her most famous concert. But we thought it would be fun to go.
We met up with a bunch of other women from the Carreras fan club -- I think Walt was the only man in the group -- and we had a nice dinner at a very loud New York restaurant and then headed over to Carnegie Hall.
According to the review I just found on Google, it was apparently not a particularly good concert. The review begins, "In some ways Jose Carreras's recital on Thursday night at Carnegie Hall was no place for a music critic." It goes on to discuss all the negative points, but that it was a great success with the audience. He says there were eleven encores and that he himself left after #8.
I have no way to review the concert, but what I was impressed by was that the theater was full and there was a bank of seats on the stage and at some point during the concert, Carreras turned his back to the audience and sang three songs to the people on stage. Class, I thought.
When it was over, we went backstage, met him, and got his autograph.
The next day, the day our lives would forever change, a couple of friends from CompuServe gave us a walking tour of New York, starting with bagels at a Jewish deli.
That night my friend Ron was hosting a party for me so I could meet a lot of people I knew from CompuServe, but had never met in person.
We arrived at Ron's early and were sitting in his living room while he put the finishing touches on the food and drink. The first guest arrived and the telephone rang back in his bedroom. I was chatting with the new arrivals when Ron came in, pointed to Walt and told him to come to the bedroom with him. Walt stayed in the bedroom and Ron came out, looking very upset, but wouldn't tell me why. He finally said that it was Ned on the phone (why in the world did I think to give Ned Ron's phone number in case there was a problem?) and that David had been in an auto accident.
I got on the phone with Ned and learned that they did not expect David to live.
We were on the phone talking with Ned and with my mother (who was also there) while party goers were arriving and then the hushed tones from the living room as Ron explained what was going on.
Ron got on the phone and arranged for us to take an earlier flight back to San Francisco and got us a taxi so we could return to our hotel, where Barbara was waiting.
Shortly after we got to the hotel, I had a call from the transplant people at the hospital, calling to get official permission (which I had already given) for them to take David's organs to be donated. It was something I felt very strongly about. When my sister died, they weren't doing organ transplants, but we could have donated her corneas and my father was adamant that nobody was going to take any part of his daughter's body.
After I talked with the transplant coordinator, there was nothing else to do but go to bed, but who could sleep? I got up and sat in the dark and cried quietly and next thing I knew Barbara was there with her arms around me and then Walt and the three of us sat there in the dark crying.
I think it was Tom and Jeri who met us at the airport. David was having his organs harvested and we never did see him which, after hearing descriptions by the others, I'm glad of. My last memory of him was when he stopped at the house before we left for New York, gave me a big hug and told me he'd see us when we got back.
That was 24 years ago today, but it still seems like yesterday.
For Paul it's
sushi, for David it's Kraft dinner and we will have Kraft dinner tonight in his
PHOTO OF THE DAY
David 4, Walt 2
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This is entry #7320