I admit I rarely post here any more. I miss being part of the LJ community (as it was, say, circa 2006), but I guess I only really have myself to blame for transplanting my online "journaling" experience from the deep thoughtfulness of LJ to the shallow instant gratification of FB. (There, I said it!)
(Just for the record, though I own a Twitter account, I almost never use it. People "follow" me there, but there's really nothing to follow...)
My sister Linda, who doesn't have an account on FB, has mentioned to me that she used to read my LJ posts and misses getting news about me through them; now she's obliged to ask her daughter, my niece Gillian, formerly gillicious
, to pass on tidbits she catches about me on Facebook. I bow my head in shame.
But today I felt I had to post; while visiting friends in Orlando FL, I'm musing about the fact that it is now 2014, which makes me think twenty years back to 1994. In some ways it seems like yesterday, but some momentous things happened just around that time in my life, serious events with two decades' worth of consequences that have contributed to make me who I am now.
I failed to recognize publicly in any way the 20th anniversary of the death of my partner Tyler Hayes, who passed away in October of 1993 at the age of 62 in Palm Springs. Yes, he was significantly older than I -- I was 36. It really was a love relationship, although in some ways I may have appeared to some people to be a "golddigger." I didn't worry about that too much; Tyler's friends appeared to accept me as more-or-less an equal, and within a year of moving in with him I was beginning to pull my own weight financially as a musician, more so once I began accepting touring jobs.
At the time of Tyler's death I was touring with Les Misérables
, and we were preparing for the tour to go to Singapore in January of 1994. Tyler had planned to join me on that trip, but his sickness and passing changed that plan. Our company management gave me some time right around the end of 1993 to spend at home in PS dealing with Tyler's affairs as executor of his estate. I might not have thought to ask for that time off, but I was encouraged to take it, for which I am grateful. It was no great hardship at that time for the powers-that-be to find a temporary replacement for me on the tour; New York had plenty of keyboardists who knew the show and were happy to tour for a few weeks with it. (Later on, I became one of those keyboardists. Filling in to cover people's vacations was a lot of fun.)
As it happened, I rejoined the tour in January, in Pasadena, CA, two weeks before the Singapore trip. I stayed in Silverlake with my friend Phil Martin (who, years later, would become John's and my housemate in the Palm Springs condo) and was at his apartment when the Northridge quake hit. Sunset Boulevard
(starring Glenn Close) was playing at the now-long-gone Shubert Theatre in Century city, and I'm pretty sure they had to take a night off while repairs were made, but Les Miz
didn't miss a beat, or a performance; we went on that evening as scheduled. (I have no recollection of how empty the house might have been that night, as LA reeled from the damage.)
So, in early 1994, I played keyboard with Les Misérables
for twelve weeks in Singapore. I was fairly newly widowed and had inherited a Palm Springs condo, which meant I was now a new homeowner, though the condo was unoccupied for months at a time at first. While in Singapore, I also learned to conduct the show; this made me now not just a "Broadway pianist" but also a "Broadway associate conductor," a big change in status for me. By the time I left the tour a year and a half later, I'd taken a turn on the podium maybe a hundred times. (I've conducted several other shows a few times each since then.)
So... twenty years ago my life was going through many BIG changes. I was in my mid-thirties, and I had a whole career ahead of me still... and I still had yet to meet trulygrateful
, who has changed my life in so many wonderful ways since. But that's another story, which at this rate I'll get around to telling in January 2016, which will be our twentieth anniversary...