I like to bring my Mom & Dad over to visit on the weekend, fix them a nice dinner, and spend some time catching up. They’ve been through a hard time the last few years, starting with when my Dad took a bad fall at home, ended up in the hospital, then a skilled nursing facility, and finally assisted living.
Dad was never able to go home again, and that was rough for both of them, as Dad helped Mom a lot at home, and with his absence she wasn’t doing well on her own at home, and Dad wasn’t happy alone in assisted living. A bad situation all around.
At the time I was doing the long drive every weekend from Washington State to Idaho, trying to figure out how best help them out in what was a very dire situation. It was a rough time for all of us, and we finally decided the best thing for everyone was for Mom & Dad to move from their beloved long-time home in Idaho into assisted living near me, so I could help out.
With a little help from my friends Chad, Bob, and Cindy, and Mom & Dad’s friends & neighbors, Matilda and Chuck, and a great realtor, Crissy, I was able to get their house sold, and get Mom & Dad moved from Idaho to an assisted living center just around the block from where I live.
It was a rough go for all of us the last few years, and at ages 90 and 92 (respectively), Mom and Dad are doing better now, and it is really nice having them close by so we can spend time together, and I can make sure things are going well for them on a day-by-day basis.
Yesterday, after dinner, we settled in for a little listening session (hey, it’s Jeff’s Place, after all). I put on a test pressing of a 45RPM version of Gene Ammons’ Nice An’ Cool, and Mom said, “Those speakers really sound fantastic, and the saxophone playing is just beautiful, and sounds so real.”
Mom’s got good ears, and she was right, the big Westminsters were sounding mighty fine playing Nice An’ Cool, and thanks to Mr. Yazaki-san’s combination of Western Electric cabling, Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects, and his ‘real sound’ modifications to my vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers, it really did sound real just as Mom said.
We also put on Rickie Lee Jones’ Pop Pop and had a ball listening to those old standards, some of which Mom, Dad, and I used to sing together on road trips in the car when I was a kid.
We reminisced about when, in 1965, Mom took me to a Louis Armstrong parking lot concert as a wee lad, at the Lloyd Center Mall in Portland, Oregon, and how Richard had just made a comment here at Jeff’s Place about how they were going to do a 50 year celebration of that event this coming August 15th, a Saturday afternoon.
It sure would have been fun if we could have both gone to that event to celebrate with them, but I’m thinking we’ll do our own little 50 year celebration of that concert we went to, here at Jeff’s Place, listening to some Louis Armstrong records, eating a good meal, and popping a bottle of champagne!
I just read Jim Smith’s latest edition of Quarter Notes, and I was sorry to read that Jim and his wife Pam have been going through some rough times on the health front, first with Jim, with Pam being the caregiver, and now with Pam, and Jim being the caregiver. That’s rough on everyone when one person is having health issues, and the other is being the caregiver, and I want to wish both of them the best during this difficult time, and I hope Pam has a speedy recovery to better health.
Jim’s discussion in this issue of Quarter Notes made me decide to fess up and let you know that yours truly has also been going through the wringer on the health front, and it’s not over yet. A certain tumor has been causing me some problems, and it appears (at least for the moment) that it is inoperable, but the docs are doing their part to help me make the best of it until they know if there’s something that can be done to improve my situation. So it’s been a bit of a rough go for me on the health front, being a caregiver for Mom & Dad, working full time, and trying to keep up with things here at Jeff’s Place. As such I’ve had to suspend the major reviews I had planned for Positive Feedback for a little while, and I am doing blog posts to bridge the gap until I can get back in the saddle. So if I don’t answer emails or comments right away like usual, you now know why, but I’ll do my best to write back as soon as I can.
My buddy Leo stopped by on Friday and we listened to the ORG 45RPM reissue of Mingus Ah Um and it’s fantastic, I’m going to get a copy of it for myself, and if you love jazz, you should too – you won’t be sorry!
Mr. Yazaki-san was able to find a spool of Western Electric WE16GA that Ron, Leo, and I went in on. Thank you Mr. Yazaki-san!
Ron has already rewired his hot-rodded Klipsch Klipschorns with the Western Electric WE16GA, so I’ll be really interested to hear Ron’s thoughts on the results. More to come on that front.
The Good Doctor, Leo, is going to use the Western Electric WE16GA to make a set of speaker cables and ground lines for his Tannoy Westminster Royal SEs, and if all goes well, then I volunteered to give him a hand rewiring the big Westmonsters internally, so stay tuned, as we’ll document all the fun. It will be interesting to find out what the WE16GA will bring to the WRSE game!
As another exciting note, Leo is building a Garrard Project of his own after seeing mine, and Ray has built him the nicest version of his Classic 301 that’s ever been done, and Christopher is, as we speak, crafting a custom Artisan Fidelity plinth to wrap around it. When it is all said and done I’ll tell you all about Leo’s Garrard Project and shoot a bunch of photos of it so you can see the result. It’s going to be a beauty!
The plan for me right now is to keep the blog posts coming, then as strength allows, write-up all the work we’ve been doing with the Western Electric WE16GA, the Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects, and the real sound modifications to the vintage McIntosh MC30 amps, as an article for Positive Feedback. If all goes well then I’ll try to resume some audio reviews for Positive Feedback.
There’s lots of exciting things to look forward to and the plan is to tell you all about them. Until next time, from my home to yours, may the music playing on your hi-fi make you smile.
Thanks for stopping by!