A Remarkable Person
The photo above is of a mansion that I worked in while I was in high school and college. I came across some remarkable people during my tenure there. Many were best described as transient laborers who would come to work for a couple months and then they'd wander off. By transients I don't mean they were hobos or bums, though they did hire bums from time to time. They had wonderful stories. They were people with infinite interests and and needed to move around a lot to keep gathering their cashes of stories and life experiences.
There was one very remarkable person I remembered today. Like the other transient workers he didn't work there long. He didn't live on site and I don't know where he lived, but one could tell on first impression that he was someone that came from great wealth and education. He had a slight British accent and spoke magnificently with a command of the language I've rarely seen. I recall showing him around the mansion on his first day. His job was assistant to the librarian.
As I showed him around I realized that he was actually showing me around. He started in about the mansion telling me it was a recreation of Jacobean architecture that was popular in the King James period of the 1600s. He told me about the sterling chandlers and about the craftsmen that created them. He went on about the Italian wood carvers that that labored for five years creating the carvings on the stair case. He told me the story of the leaded glass windows and about the application of gold leaf on the reading room wall. He was well versed in every aspect of this grand home as though he grew up in a similar home.
I recall him boldly addressing the pipe organ in the grand hall. This organ had never been played in the entire time I worked there, but he treated it with reverence like an old friend. He knew the switches that needed to be turned on the bellows in the basement. The floor rumbled as the motors beneath our feet brought up the air to the organ. He arranged the stops where he wanted them and shortly after his feet met the pedals and his fingers confronted the keys. He started in with a Bach organ piece and the the entire mansion vibrated and resonated in harmony with the pipes. It was remarkable and his skill as an organist was unmatched.
I hadn't thought of him in the last twenty five years and I was surprised when his name popped into my head today. I did a search on the net and found him successfully still doing music not far from where we worked. He is a Choir Director and organist. His bio stated he was trained at Westminster.
I think I learned more form him during his first day on that job that I've learned from anyone in the the span of one day before or since.