A bit about myself–as requested. Details about my career are easily discoverable, so I thought I’d share the “untold” story instead. I was born and raised in Florida and since that time long ago, I have lived in Indiana, Texas, Washington, and Germany. Here are a few true tales from all those places.
I played drums throughout my junior high and high school years. During that gig, I played snare and cowbell for Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. I still have one leftover drumstick that allows us to open the kitchen window – but not enough for burglars to enter.
My first job was at the First Methodist Church in Spring Hill, Florida, where I played piano for services. My second job was making ham and cheese sandwiches at Weeki Wachee, Home of the Live Mermaids. I drove my moped 7.5 miles each way in all types of weather. I earned enough money that summer to help me buy materials to make a suit for my Grandfather’s wedding and to help with first year of college incidentals.
It’s true that I’ve played the piano all over the world. My most infamous story was when I was playing concerts onboard the MS Deutschland … in the middle of a cyclone. We were in Beaufort winds of 10-11 for several days and in the midst of this, I had to play a concert with my cellist. During rehearsal, we hit a rogue wave. My bench slid a full six feet back from the piano. Seasickness hit, I was full of drugs from the doctor, and the show had to go on. Yes, I played and was subsequently written up in a German magazine as bringing my heroics and barf bag to the Steinway.
In Hamburg, I lived in the caretaker’s apartment in the Anglican Church for five years and often climbed along the rafters to watch fireworks along the Elbe River. I survived six weeks of the 200-year-old organ being tuned - starting at 7 am every day. Since I played either Cats or Phantom several times a week, getting home at midnight, this was tough to take! I was often an invited guest in the U.S. Consulate and was there one evening when rioters tried breaking into the facility. We were scuttled out the backdoor quickly, and the Consul General and his family were secured. The windows were broken out of the British Consulate that night.
I played a series of concerts with a cellist in China a year after Tiananmen Square. We were about 500 miles south of Beijing and found ourselves sharing the concert hall with members of the communist party from the capital. Tense does not begin to describe the reception after our concert. But Chinese beer flowed freely, and we all became a bit more relaxed. I told the story about my toilet paper getting soaked by an over-exuberant housekeeper at the hotel. Pretty soon, the wife of the conductor came out and presented me with a roll of Double Happiness toilet paper - a two-ply, naturally. The next day, they ditched their meetings, came and got us in a van, and took us to the mountains for a day of sightseeing followed by gifting us with fireworks so we could celebrate July 4th. It remains one of my fondest memories.
I could write for hours, but these are the stories that quickly came to mind. Thanks for reading. I’ll happily bore you for many hours with the full bio - just ask me.
I look forward to being a part of this congregation and its love in action. Thank you for your warm welcome, and I hope to get to know more of you soon.
In His Name, Deborah
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.