Tonight I taught a guitar lesson for a young girl named Caitlin Robinson. She’s the daughter of Kim and Libby Robinson, now divorced. Kim is the older brother of Dave and Dave is one of my oldest friends.
I was introduced to Dave in 1973 by my cousin Russ. They were juniors at Cleveland High School that year and I was a freshman. I didn’t get to know him to well until the following year when we had the same Creative Writing class. This is when I learned that Dave was a gifted writer. Our teacher, Mr. Tom Potthast, (now deceased) always had an assignment for us. Every single night. It was usually not required to be lengthy, and many times he would just make something up as the bell was ringing. As we’re all standing up to get to our next class, he would yell out, “OK, 500 words on…(small pause)…A radio show; you’re a script writer for a radio show. 500 words.”
I’d be saying to myself, “What the…?”
But Dave, well he’d wait until right before class the next day and write his 500 words in about 3 minutes. And they were always good. He made A’s through the whole semester.
Then I learned he also wrote songs and played guitar. He loved Bob Dylan. He sang like Bob Dylan. You know, not so good. But, hey, I didn’t sing at all.
Well over the next few years, after high school and after my one failed year in college, we became working partners. The thing I liked most about Dave was that he was serious. He took music and practicing music seriously. But eventually we realized our plans were not bringing home the bacon, so he took a job in the kitchen of O’Connell’s Pub, where his older brother Kim worked as bartender. A few weeks later, he called in Russ, and then a week after that they called me. That was 1979.
I remember saying to myself, “I’ll work here just long enough to get the money for my electric guitar and amplifier. Then I’ll be ready to make it with a band.” I figured about nine months. I was there ten years.
In the meantime, I played a lot of guitar. I got pretty good at it and when Kim finally asked Libby to marry him, they asked me to play at their wedding. So, tonight I give a guitar lesson to their sixteen year old daughter who by the way has a teacher that I had as a freshman. A big guy name Skip Gatorman. I remembered that Mr. Gatorman played Harvey the rabbit in a school play one year. I told Caitlin to call him Harvey one time and see what he says.