Month: August 2014

My Universe Within

Setting Things Straight

I am not attached to any religion or belief (unless you consider music a religion.) I am a musician and have been for 80 years. I was living what you could call a normal life as a musician – teaching lessons, having my own dance band and being an organist for different churches. I did anything concerning music that came up to earn money to make a living until I was 50 years old. Then things changed in a hurry.

It was my fiftieth birthday and when I got up that morning I decided to celebrate by giving myself the day to do anything I wanted – something that I had always wanted to try and had never allowed myself time. I decided to try to write music. It seems unbelievable that I had been playing piano since the age of four and had never tried to write music of my own. It just never entered my head that I would be able to do this. I didn’t believe I was intelligent enough.

I did not particularly like the first song I wrote. It was titled “Walk, Walk, Walk with the Angels,” and I couldn’t believe I had written it because I wasn’t especially religious – in fact, I was not religious at all. I was a church organist in a paid position and had been for many years in many different denominations of churches. I was always left with the feeling of not being able to believe what all those other people professed to believe.

I shrugged this song off, a little disappointed in myself and tried again. The next one was called “Elisa” and was about a girl singer I knew. This song had several verses and was a very true picture of her. The next one was “Daddy was a Bootlegger” which was about my father and my family and was also based on true facts. The last one I wrote that first day was “When the Columbine Turns Blue Again” and at the time I didn’t know what prompted it. It was set in the mountains where we went to cut firewood at times and the columbine (the state flower of Colorado) would be blooming, so the song was based on true fact in a way, but I couldn’t figure out where the words came from. As I look back now, it seems to be about the other half of my soul that, of course, I had to leave when I incarnated this time.

My Life in Ohio

As a matter of fact, I can remember as a little girl, perhaps five or six, wondering where my twin brother was and when I was going to be able to see him. I called him Norman and told my older sister about him – that I had a twin brother. She, of course, laughed at me.

As I look back on my childhood and early adulthood, there were many things that I took for granted that seemed strange or out of place, to others. For instance, in elementary school, perhaps fifth or sixth grade, we had to write a story for English class. I wrote one about “juke joints,” which I realize now described the 50’s scene exactly, as far as teenage hangouts. This would have been about 1939 or 1940.

It sems I never did anything at the time that others did it as far as society was concerned. I entered first grade at the age of four and graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. Ten years later I entered college. I did manage to get married at about the same time as most other girls of my generation did, at the age of nineteen, but I was thirty-nine when my first and only child, a son Neil, was born.

Now here I was at the age of fifty beginning to write music. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I would leave home at the age of fifty-seven with $60.00 in my pocket to eventually move to California and start a new business.

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Posted by Norma Hickox, 1 comment