Years ago, while in high school, I connected with my friend, John Pastin, and we formed a band. John, even in those early years, was an amazing sax player, and when he invited me to play bass in a band he was forming, I jumped at the chance. I relied on my dad, a trained bassist, to teach me the fundamentals, and was off to the music races with John. Throughout high school and college we played weekly at parties, weddings, in clubs and the like. As kids, we were making good money, but more, we were having a fantastic time.
As John’s musical talents grew he decided to maximize opportunities and joined the US Navy music program. I decided to focus attention on my work as a social psychologist and our paths moved in different directions. John went on to an extensive career in the Navy band, collecting a BA, MA, and doctorate along the way. He played, conducted, orchestrated and entertained folks all over the world, from presidents to prime ministers. Then, when he left the Navy, as the director of the Navy Band, he went on to Rowan University to teach music, rising to become Dean of the School of Performing Arts. An amazing ride!
And I began to devote myself to disability advocacy, getting my BA, MSW and doctorate in social psychology, becoming associated with the nonprofit organization, CLASS. In my 47 years there I had opportunity to teach, write, research and ultimately became the CEO.
In all these years, John and I and our families have stayed closely aligned, enjoying vacations, travel, celebrating milestones of our children and extended families. We are lifelong friends.
When John retired from Rowan University, he and Arleen returned to Pittsburgh and in his first trip back, he brought me a bass guitar and stated, “we were going to get the band back together.” Now I hadn’t touched the bass since my early college days, but it is difficult to say no to John. So with his tutoring, and indulgence, I started to resume my bass playing.
So now, with John’s musical genius, we have launched a 2 man “Oldies” group we are calling the “DooWop Doctors.” We have developed a repertoire of oldies and classic songs from years gone by, and what fun we have been having.
So if you are in the Pittsburgh area, and have a penchant for the “oldies,” keep your eyes out for the “DooWop Doctors.” You will find living example that old dogs can learn new tricks. Shoobydowopwawa!