36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

014: Maria


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

After Vienna
Two Years Later

014 — Maria
Fall–Spring 1973–74

Written April 28–29, 1974

The next depressing situation—since I am now feeling sorry for myself—concerns that of a special girl.

Her name is Maria M.—a singer who now teaches at an elementary school where I teach.

She is a very talented singer. Last night she gave a lovely recital. She was extremely good-looking with a really lovely voice to match.

As I sat at the recital, I finally realized what I knew all along, I must do. And that is—to end the relationship.
We met in September at the first meeting of music and since then we have had a great relationship. She is a lot of fun to be with and I seem to have really fallen for her.

I would probably marry her if I thought things would work out.
But they won’t. I’ve been kidding myself too long. While she enjoys the relationship, she doesn’t feel the way I do—I am hypothesizing. She is really a career girl and is determined to make it. She was accepted into the Light Opera of Manhattan.
All in all, she has a lot going for her while I don’t have enough.
Even though I’m still feeling sorry for myself, and I am always hoping—I’ve made up my mind to end it. For her, it won’t make any difference. But for me, at least I can try and start a new relationship. The problem is that she’s always on my mind.

I’ll never forget her though. She’s really great.


Girls. Today’s post seems a bit depressing—once again. Get a grip, John. What is it with girls and me? I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with them. Am I a loser? Not established enough in a career? Not a doctor or lawyer? Don’t I exude a persona of wealth? We know the answer to the last question.

Throughout my life, I have never had a stream of steady girlfriends. Basically, I was a normal guy doing a lot of things. In addition to teaching, Columbia, and study with George Walker this year, I played in a band with my friends. We played fairly often and a lot of weekends. Being overly busy, I think, had something to do with my social life. And she was busier than I. We dated on occasion, not steady.

I think girls liked me because I am moderately good-natured and perhaps a bit funny, on occasion. I was no looker or jock. I’m not certain that I gave the impression that I was ready to settle down. I remember being afraid of “marriage” due to the experience of my alcoholic father as we grew up. I think I was just an average guy. What’s an average guy to do?

Dating. My stepson, Walter, dates a million girls. Well, almost true. I, on the other hand was a choosey beggar—I think there was a Smokey Robinson song with that theme. I suspect that if a girl wasn’t, in my eyes, marriage material, I really didn’t even want to date her. Now that was ridiculous—after all, none of us were looking to get married right away. It would have been better for me to have dated more often, though not as much as Walter.

I guess I was just a dumb-ass male youth.

Maria. You can tell I liked Maria a lot. She was very pretty and an amazing vocal talent. I remember that when we went out, we had great times with a lot of fun and laughing. As a singer, she had a beautiful voice suitable to theatre and light opera. She was extremely driven by her career and desire to sing professionally—she often went on “cattle-call” auditions once or twice a week. Her acceptance into the Light Opera of Manhattan is proof of her talent and exuberance.

As always, with my female relationships, I suspect that it was lopsided. I most likely had more feelings for her than she had for me. I bet that she likely considered us good close friends.

Years later, Maria married a lawyer and raised a family. I’m certain that she was still singing professionally all along.

I have a professional head shot of Maria that she used for her auditions. I’ll find it and scan it for posting later.

Maria as teacher. One memorable experience was going to see Maria teach an elementary music class. I can’t remember the exact grade, but it might have been grade 2 or grade 3. She did vocal warm-ups with the children where she taught them to listen to their singing, and then they sang songs. I never heard such beautiful sound with correct tuning and wonderful tone coming out of such young students. You generally hear a lot of loud yelling-singing at that age. Her students were absolutely amazing, showing that she was a wonderful teacher as well, demonstrating that children, kids, and students of all ages can achieve high standards when the teacher expects them to achieve.

Folk Songs and Tape. While finishing up at Columbia and preparing to go to Indiana University, I taped Maria singing two folk songs that I later used, and manipulated, in two of the songs for my recital. The piece was Three Folk Songs for Soprano, Piano, and Tape.


- - - -