Charley Krachy Timeline

Charley in his studio ----- April 7, 2019 – photo by Mark Weber

Charley in his studio —– April 7, 2019 – photo by Mark Weber

Charley Krachy – Timeline in progress


October 7 —- born at Peekskill Hospital —- living in VerPlanck. Went to VerPlanck Elementary School aka The Little Red Schoolhouse, just down the street on West End of 9th Street where he grew up (curiously, the houses didn’t have house numbers back then)(and Charley’s future wife lived on the corner, although, they didn’t start dating until he got back from the Navy) —— Three months of rheumatic fever, age 9, “about that time I wanted a saxophone, my Mom said if Dr Kinsey says you can blow, then grandma will buy you a saxophone, they took me to Dr Kinsey and he said I could blow” —- So, Charley’s mother Grandma Stinson came through (rheumatic fever effects the heart)

First saxophone at age 10


October —- Age 17 joined the Navy: 4 years active duty plus two years reserve (left active duty October 1961) for a total of 6 years

1960-1961 excursion on the USS Maury to Gulf of Siam (off the coast of Thailand & Cambodia) geodetic survey mapping ocean floor


These were years of playing weddings & parties in cover bands, “I could make $500 on weekends,” until Lenny Popkin suggested he discontinue with the cover bands so he could concentrate purely on the jazz feeling


Graduates from Mercy College


Hears Lenny Popkin in concert September 9, 1979 and goes backstage afterwards to ask if he could study saxophone with him, which began a 2-year (maybe 2 ½-year) weekly regime, simultaneously enrolled at Westchester Conservatory “Theory 1 and Theory 2 with a great teacher, classical flute player”.

*I asked Kazzrie when she first met Charley: “Fun!!! — let me think about it — early 80’s, or late 70’s? when he was studying with Lenny Popkin? i’ll have to reminisce with him, and refresh my memory!

I bet Gary Levy will have some good Charley stories!

I’m pretty sure Charley and I started playing duo sessions up in my attic, unless it was before then. I had a great 2-story apartment in a house on 188th Street in Jamaica, Queens. I had to have a new window put in on the 3rd floor so they could lift my piano up through it. The window faced west, so every night I’d sit up there with my dinner and watch the sky paintings at sunset! It wasn’t insulated, so I hung bedsheets on ropes around the piano, and in the winter the sheets would move with the wind. I had a kerosene heater up there, and slept in my ski jacket, hat and gloves so I could wake up at 4:30 every morning and play before going to work. I think that’s where Charley and I began having sessions. I loved his gorgeous tenor sound, and we had an instant affinity. We started playing weekly sessions, and the music kept opening and evolving. We were mostly playing tunes, which is how I got to experience Charley playing a melody with a kind of dimensional beauty that defied explanation. To this day, he’s the Magician of Melody. Charley, right from the start, connected to the melodies he played from his heart, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen him melt down an audience with just a melody. I’ve also seen people swoon from hearing one note out of his horn. Really. There’s a direct energy transmission in his playing that can only be called love. And isn’t that the essence of jazz? The sound of one note loving?

1981 – 1982

CK learns “317 E. 32nd Street” —- “It was the first line I learned so I’m guessing 1986-1987. I know Kazz & I played it at the 1989 Jazz Duet at Greenwich House concert.” [email CK > MW 1may2o19] *I told Charley that it must have been earlier, like when he was studying with Lenny Popkin. He said that Lenny had taken him back to basics, mostly working on intervals and scales. Later he wrote: “As far as 317 goes, I guess it was sometime in 81 or 82 when I was with LP” [email CK > MW 11may2o19]


Began studies with Connie Crothers that lasted formally to 1995 and informally another few years – 15 years total


October 13 —- duet with Liz Gorrill at Greenwhich House NYC – released as cd A JAZZ DUET (New Artists)


October 27 —- Carol Liebowitz & Charley, piano/voice & tenor duets @ Greenwich House, Greenwich Village NYC


Charley joins New Artists collective [this date is most probable] —- Connie Crothers and Max Roach formed New Artists collective in 1982 and continues now under direction of Virg Dzurinko —- New Artists present concerts and release records, as of now (2o19) there are 66 records in the catalog —- see New Artists Records website —- Charley says he remembers Connie was living at Chelsea Hotel when she asked him to join, and we know she lived there and kept a studio 4 or 5 or 6 years, certainly in March 1987 as that’s when she recorded DUO DIMENSION (NA 1003) in her studio there (see photos by Chuck Stewart) and so, tentatively, we date CC’s years at Chelsea as 1987 – 1992 —- Charley remembers the first New Artist meetings he attended were at Connie’s East 9th Street studio.

August 26 —- Liz Gorrill & Charley, piano & tenor duets @ Blue Note, 131 west 3rd Street, Manhattan NYC

November 3 — Liz & Charley @ Sweet Basil, NYC —- duets “we played 75% free and about 25% tunes” [CK telcon w/MW 18aug2020]   After their set Charley was heading out the door to retrieve his car in the parking garage on Barrow and he heard a guy from a table near the door call out, “Hey man, you’re a swingin’ cat!” It was David Murray sitting with his cronies, and Charley said, “Coming from you that really means a lot, thank you,” and Murray bowed his head in deference.


August 21 & October 16 —- recording sessions for cd SWEET FULFILLMENT (New Artists Records 1019) w/ Andy Fite (guitar) & Boel Dirke (piano)

September 11 —- Charley in trio w/ Andy Fite and Cameron Brown (bass) @ Caravan of Dreams, 405 E Sixth Street (@ First Ave) NYC


June 26 – Connie Crothers & Charley, piano & tenor duets – Greenwich House

July 18 —- An Evening of Improvised Voices & Unusual Musical Endeavors w/ Bob Casanova & Dori Levine (voices), Lynn Seaton (bass), Charley (tenor) @ The New Space, 129 6th Ave, Brooklyn NY

September 25 —- Charley, Andy Fite, Boel Dirke in trio play Cornelia Street Café, Greenwich Village NYC


Records with Michael Levy for cd SOUP (New Artists 1018) – no exact date specified

October 28 —- “Sarah La Cave on First Presents” :The Charley Krachy-Doug White Quartet w/ Roger Mancuso (drums), Rich Califano (bass), Charley & Doug (tenors) — French & Soul Restaurant, 1125 First Ave (at 62nd Street) NYC


Records cd HEARTLINE with Doug White in a double tenor front line


Sessions for cd FROM THE INSIDE OUT (NA 1023) with singer Bob Casanova


April 5 —- Charley Krachy – Liz Gorrill (as of 2005 now known as Kazzrie Jaxen) Quartet @ Birdland on double-bill w/ Connie Crothers & Richard Tabnik


June 10 —- Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet at Birdland NYC w/ Ratzo B Harris (bass) & Roger Mancuso (drums) – YouTube exists


January 12 —- Sunday night jam session at Sal Mosca’s studio in Mt Vernon NY – many musicians showed up – Charley played “There Will Never Be Another You” w/ Sal, Bill Chattin, Ted Brown, Don Messina, and maybe Bob Arthurs —– Don says: “That’s the first time I met Charley” —- recording exists at Institute of Jazz Studies IJS collections, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey

7pm March 1 —- The Charley Krachy – Gary Levy Quintet w/ Virg Dzurinko on a double-bill with Dori Levine & Ed Littman Duo (voice & guitar) at Faust Harrison Pianos, 205 west 58th Street NYC (just west of 7th Ave) — “Here’s what I know for sure . . . Faust Harrison was March 1st . . . . my first grandson was born Feb 28 . . . I was at the hospital all night and the next day when we played I remember being tired and I made an announcement: I became a grandfather last night, don’t know what’s gonna come out of the horn . . . Gary had just returned from Curacao two days before” [email CK > MW 23apri2019]

March 4 — records his quartet w/ Charles Sibirsky (piano), Ed Fuqua (bass), Peter Scattaretico (drums) cd JAZZMAN’S SERENADE —- Note that track “Keep the Change” is Charley’s line he wrote on the changes to “Pennies from Heaven,” in minor


March 4 & 5 —- recording sessions for cd SONGS ABOUT YOU (Iana Records) singer Christiana Drapkin w/ Charles Sibirsky Quartet: Sibirsky (piano), Charley (tenor) John Merrill (guitar), Murray Wall (bass) – they release 12 tunes two of which “Out of Nowhere” and Charley’s “Jazzman’s Serenade”

2004 —- Late August

Carol Tristano & Lenny Popkin & their daughter Anna (b. 1998 NYC) relocate from Manhattan to Paris, France


Sept 5 —- Charley Krachy Quartet @ Birdland – Charles Sibirsky (piano), Ed Fuqua (bass), Pete Scattaretico (drums)


September 17 —- CK attends the Memorial Service for Sonny Dallas at Saint Peters (the Jazz Church), 619 Lexington Ave, NYC —- Those that performed (judging from photographs): Connie (piano), Lee Konitz (alto), Ted Brown (tenor), a bass player, and a trombone player that looks about Sonny’s age with a moustache — Also, Nick Lyons, Will Jhun, and Richard Tabnik were in attendance.


September 4 —- Labor Day gig at Birdland :Charlie Krachy Quintet w/ Connie Crothers (piano), Gary Levy (alto), Skip Scott (drums), Alex Gressel (bass), Charley (tenor) ———– recording exists

2007 —- October 13

Charley Krachy Trio play the Division Street Grill, Peekskill, New York —- CK(tenor), Joe Giglio (guitar), Lou Stelutti (bass) – 2 sets were recorded and are in CK’s archive


September 1 —- Charley Krachy Quintet at Birdland: Bill Chattin (drums), Alex Gressel (bass), Virg Dzurinko (piano), Charley & TED BROWN (dual tenors) —- recording exists

November 24 —– Recording session at Big Twig Studio, Roscoe NY – engineered by Dana Duke —- Charley & Kazzrie all kinds of duets – This should be a record someday (presently unreleased) I’ve heard it and it’s a knockout


October —- Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet is formed: Kazzrie (piano), Don Messina (bass), Charley (tenor), Bill Chattin (drums) — This extraordinary quartet stayed together till August 28, 2016 and thereafter as a dummer-less trio till April 22, 2o18———–Don says: “I wouldn’t say the band is over more like inactive, on a break” (email 15apr2o19)

October 18 —- sessions begin for Kazzrie Jazen Quartet cd CALLICOON SESSIONS (Cadence Records) – sessions continue through summer of 2011

September 25 —- KJ Trio play The Stone, Lower East Side —- Ratzo Harris (bass), Kazzrie (piano), Charley (tenor) —- See my essay > 9 Nights at the Stone: Connie Crothers curated performances

December 12 —- sessions & concerts for cd QUATERNITY (NA 1060) through January 2013


October 30 —- Charles Sibirsky Quintet at Ford Piano Room, 15 South Division Street, Peekskill NY [this needs corroboration – date is correct but artists involved?] possibly: Ai Murakami (drums), Gary Levy (alto) . . . . Charley of course on tenor and Sibirsky on piano


February 4 —- Charles Sibirsky Quartet play Old Stone House, Brooklyn – Clay Schaub (bass), Sibirsky (piano), CK (tenor), Ai Murakami (drums)

February 19 —- Charley Krachy Quintet play U Music Studio, Buchanan NY w/ Charley (tenor), Gary Levy (alto), Ai Murakami (drums), Virg Dzurinko (piano), Lou Stelluti (bass)

March 19 — -Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet plays Trumpets, Montclair, New Jersey (one track from this concert appears on QUATERNITY)

September 10 — KJ Quartet play Trumpets

September 25 —- KJ Quartet perform at Howland Center, Beacon – YouTube exists of “So Nice”

November 5 —- Charley Krachy – Virg Dzurinko Quintet @ Welcher Avenue Shopping Center, 20 Welcher Avenue, Peekskill – Virg (piano), Charley (tenor), Gary Levy (alto), Lou Stelluti (bass), Ai Murakami (drums)

December 3 —- Woody Mann & Charley play U Music Studio, Peekskill


June 2 —- KJ Quartet play Trumpets

August 26 —- Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet at Howland Cultural Center, Beacon NY (6 songs from this concert appear on QUATERNITY)

June 23 & November 10 —- Charles Sibirksy & Charley, piano & tenor duets @ Division Street Grill, 26 N Division Street, Peekskill NY


January 19 —- Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet plays The Cooperage, Honesdale NY (one song appears on QUATERNITY) —- YouTube exists of “Lennie’s Pennies” and “Thing Called Love”

March 24 —- KJ Quartet plays Franklin Lakes Public Library, Franklin Lakes NJ

April 12 —- KJ Quartet play Trumpets

June 23 —- KJ Quartet play Fort Lee Public Library, Ft Lee NJ

August 25 —- KJ Quartet play Howland Cultural Center, Beacon NY

December 21 —- Trio of Joe Solomon (bass), Joe Giglio (guitar), Charley (tenor) play Division Street Grill, Peekskill


Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet played 16 engagements in 2014 —- See Charley Krachy’s webpage for details

August 24 —- KJ Quartet play Howland Cultural Center + Mark Weber (2 poems) —- YouTube exists —- See my essay > Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet and The Beacon Fires

October 14 —- Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet at IJS Institute of Jazz Studies, John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University, Newark NJ

November 16 —- KJ Quartet plays Benefit for Bonnie Garcia (painter) at Connie’s loft in Williamsburg (475 Kent Ave, studio 410) see my 3-part essay > Event at Connie’s Loft


January 24 —- KJ Quartet play The Hudson Room, Peekskill

March 14 —- KJ Quartet play Ford Piano Showroom, Peekskill

April 25 —- KJ Quartet play Trumpets, Montclair NJ

June 18 —- KJ Quartet play Wainwright House, Rye NY

June 27 —- KJ Quartet play Johnson Public Library, Hackensack NJ

July 1 —- KJ Quartet play Lincoln Center for the Lennie Tristano Induction Celebration into the Hall of Fame of some sort – YouTubes exist of “The Man I Love”

August 30 —- KJ Quartet play Howland Cultural Center, Beacon NY

September 15 – KJ Quartet play Salem Roadhouse Café, Union NJ

September 26 —-September 26 — 3-4:30pm —- KJ Quartet play Wellfleet Public Library, Wellfleet, Massachusetts —- “Connie surprised us and walked in with a friend and sat next to Peggy. Peggy remarked after the gig on how Connie was so proud of me, so happy for me . . . she had that beaming smile and just was so genuinely proud of me & my playing. It was so real Peggy remembers it clearly, we were just talking about it last night.” [email May 3, 2o19 CK > MW]

October 2 —- KJ Quartet play Genesee Center for the Arts, Genesee Community College, Batavia NY

November 14 —- KJ Quartet play Trumpets, Montclair, New Jersey


March 20 —- KJ Quartet play Acton Memorial Library, Acton, Massachusetts

May 5 & 6 —- KJ Quartet play Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque as part of INTERLACE concert

July 16 —- KJ Quartet play Trumpet

August 13 —- Connie Crothers dies at Bellevue Hospital, (a mere 5 blocks from 317 E 32nd Street) lung cancer that had migrated from an earlier bout with colon cancer—- Charley told me how Virg called him that night from the hospital – he was in town – that he should come to see Connie as the end was near – He got there at 9, went into Connie’s room and Anna (Lenny & Carol’s daughter) was holding Connie’s hand and so they held hands together – Charley stayed till around 1 o’clock and then drove home – Virg called in the morning to tell him Connie was gone.

August 28 —- KJ Quartet play Howland Cultural Center, 477 Main Street, Beacon NY

October 16 —- session for cd CONVERSATIONS (NA 1064) in duet with guitarist Woody Mann —— Charley dedicates the cd to Connie “my friend, my teacher”

Summer/Fall —- Don Messina and Charley get together with flute player Fran Canisius in Ft Lee, New Jersey, where she lives, for informal sessions (2 or 3 times is Don’s best guess —- actual date to be determined)


February 18 —- Woody Mann & Charley @ Division Street Grill, Peekskill

April 13 & 14 —- Kazzrie Jaxen Trio play Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts

April 25 —- Kazzrie Jaxen Trio play Fort Lee Library, Fort Lee NJ

2017 —- 3pm October 1

House concert at Studio B (Charley’s home basement studio) with Virg Dzurinko (piano), Nick Lyons (alto), Charley (tenor), and Don Messina (bass) —– “I love playing with Nick, seems like my playing opens up in some way I can’t explain. He’s a sweet cat & very smart & with it!” [email from CK > MW 12sept2017] —- previous to this concert was a session September 12 with same players —– This is the first house concert at this location, 25 attendees, CK borrowed chairs from Ford Piano


November 11, 2018 —- Maple City Jazz Festival, Honesdale NY w/ Kazzrie Jaxen & Friends: Kazzrie(piano/vocals), Gary Levy(alto), Charley(tenor), Nick Lyons(alto), Jimmy Halperin(tenor), Don Messina(bass), Skip Scott(drums)

December 3 —- Peter Prisco Trio w/ Don Messina & Charley @ The Palace, Somerset NJ for event: IEEE Standards Awards Ceremony —-

Guitarist Peter Prisco got away from us January 3 (1947-2019 age 71) Rest in Peace Jazzman —– see YouTube of Peter Prisco Quartet smoking “This Thing”


April 7 —- Sunday afternoon @ 3 o’clock concert @ Continental Village Clubhouse, 49 Highland Drive, Garrison NY in duet with Woody Mann plus one little poem from Mark Weber —– They played one set: 1) You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To 2) Tbilisi 3) It’s You or No One 4) Jazzman’s Serenade 5) 317 E 32nd Street 6) How Deep is the Ocean (dedicated to Connie) 7) Hesitation Blues 8) What is this Thing 9) Clos Enuf 10) Blues for Sophie Matoska (poem) 11) Love Me or Leave Me ———- Zoom recording exists

April 13 —- The Charley Krachy – Gary Levy Quartet w/ Joe Solomon (bass) & Dayeon Seok (drums) play the Mirror Tea House, Gowanus, Brooklyn —- CK says they really connected and sadly didn’t record the concert.

2019 —- July 1

Charley’s website Old Dog New Saxophones went active, created with the help of (vocalist) Cheryl Richards who also drew & designed the shaggy dog logo —- CK is marketing saxophones, all types, the focus being the titanium models from GT Sax out of Taiwan, but also many others of more traditional metals —– The enterprise was formally launched in September —- See the website by clicking here…


2019 —- 2:00-4:00 Saturday afternoon of September 7

—- Charley Krachy Quartet at Jefferson Valley Mall foodcourt sponsored by Ford Piano (who has a store there on the lower level)——— [telcon w/CK 5/28/2020] “I think this was Gary Levy, Sam Kulok on guitar and a drummer”

2o19 – 3pm Sunday September 29

The Charley Krachy – Kazzrie Jaxen Quintet perform at Howland Cultural Center, Beacon, New York —- Kazzrie (piano & vocals), Charley (tenor), Gary Levy (alto), Skip Scott (drums), Don Messina (bass) —- concert produced by Anda Onesa ———– SET ONE: 1) Smog Eyes (Ted Brown) 2) Subconscious Lee 3) Dean’s List (Don Messina) 4) Mirror (Kazzrie solo) 5)That Old Feeling SET TWO: 1) Moonlight in Vermont 2) Mark Weber reads his poem “Numinous” w/accompaniment from Quintet 3) Confirmation 4) Marionette (Kazzrie’s setting of a Mark Weber poem to Billy Bauer’s line) 5) You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To 6) [encore] Lennie’s Pennies ————Recording exists

2o19 —- November 2

Don Messina’s annual party for his old employer IEEE held at Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick, New Jersey w/ Charley (tenor), Don (bass), Chris Aiello (alto), and Richie Peare (guitar)

2020 —- Saturday 7pm January 25

at Division Street Grill, Peekskill the quartet of Charley (tenor), Gary Levy (alto), Father Stan Fortuna (6-string elec-bass), Stan Gulok (guitar) —-Tunes: “I Remember You,” “Smog Eyes,” “Everything Happens to Me,” among others —- a recording exists

2021 Wednesday July 7

Drives down from Garrison to hang with Gary Levy in Brooklyn “I drove to Gary’s arriving around 11am. We hung out for a while then left to pick up Mike K and drive over to his studio [in Gowanus, Brooklyn, on Douglass Street] played 12:30-3. After the session, we all went to a typical Brooklyn eatery.” This was first session of the day: Mike Kanan(piano), wife Stephanie Kanan(bass), Takashi Inoue(drums), Gary Levy(alto), CK(tenor) “After we ate we met Virg on the walk back to the studio. Virg wanted to eat so we went back and had an appetizer. The place was called The Dinosaur Barbecue. Mike had to leave, he had a gig in Manhattan but Stephanie started the session which began around 6 (Nick showed up at 6:30 and we went till 8:30. Session #2 was Nick Lyons & Gary Levy (alto saxophones), CK (tenor), Virg Dzurinko(piano) —- Nick remembers [I’m reporting this a month after the fact] “I think we played you’d be so nice to come home to, lover man, and, it’s you or no one.” CK says after the session he & Nick went back to Gary’s and “listened to some special Warne & Lee from 1977 concert in Chicago.” Stayed over night, “I got up the next day, Gary had an incredible breakfast cooked up, and I left around 11am for Krachy Mountain.” Alas, neither of these sessions were recorded. “Stephanie is an amazing bass player. She plays with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra but is totally at home playing and improvising jazz standards.”

2021 —- July 26

Charley invites Carol Liebowitz to come up to Garrison, she brings the train up from the city for an afternoon of piano-tenor duets at Charley & Peggy’s place (Carol lives on 103rd & Broadway, Manhattan) —- He has a grand piano that Virg has loaned him (it was the one from her parent’s home in Jersey) ————— Things were opening up after Covid pandemic Lockdown Health Safety Protocols, so, this is some of the first things going since March 2020, but the new Delta Covid Variant outbreak is looking to bring everything back into an isolation quarantine again. “First time I’ve played with her in a long while. She’s so unique, she’s in there.”

2021 —- October-December

—- once a week (first was Oct 13) on-going sessions with pianist Dave Frank, who has moved up to Peekskill from the city  “There’s been six sessions so far”  in trio with Father Stan (electric-bass) —- A few of them have been recorded —- They play tunes

2021 —- December 1

—- trio session at Charley’s home studio:  Charley (tenor), Nick Lyons (alto), Joe Giardullo (soprano) —- (it was Ted Brown’s birthday so, while they waited for Joe, CK & NL called Ted to wish him happy birthday) —- “We played free, an hour and a half non-stop, it was tremendous, we really went somewhere —- It’s made me think a whole other way about playing free other than the way Warne and Lee played”

 photo by Nick Lyons

photo by Nick Lyons

2022 —– May 24 release of download-only album YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS

(New Artists 1073)  Michael Levy —- keyboard washes over-dubbed onto Charley’s tenor saxophone solos —- Michael composed his parts April-May 2022 —-CK’s solos date to August 21 & 22, 2021 recorded at Krachy Mountain Studios (downstairs lab: Studio B) with additional sax solos recorded during April-May 2022  ie. You Don’t Know What Love Is; Danny Boy; Into the A.M. (soprano saxophone & acoustic piano); and the simple blues Dippin’ Sauce that CK wrote for a student to show the blues  form —- On Being Charley was written and recorded five years ago (c.2017) —- This project

conducted on-line with Michael  in Savannah, Georgia, and Charley in Garrison NY

1. You Don’t Know What Love Is
2. It’s Alright With Me
3. Into the A.M.
4. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
5. Danny Boy
6. On Being Charley
7. 317 East 32nd Street
8. Dippin’ Sauce Blues
9. How High the Moon
Email from Michael 6june2022 >  “Hi Mark, hope you’re well. To answer your question, aside from the track, Into The AM, where I play piano, all the synthesized/virtual instruments are entered with a digital keyboard, or onscreen keyboard. The biggest part of what I did was create the Charley Krachy horn section and arrange the tunes. I used and manipulated his audio tracks and added additional instrument / effect tracks with much more malleable midi data. The whole deal is very flexible. On the track Danny Boy I added a scat choir, for example. Here’s the link… “

1 Comment

  1. Mark Weber

    From Charley’s faceBook page March 24, 2020:

    A quick story…..
    I joined the Navy when I was 16 yrs old. I talked my mother into signing the papers by promising her I would finish high school in the navy. I went down to NYC for the physical & was told I passed and to go home and I would get a letter in the mail a week before I turned 17.
    Around this time I was playing tenor sax and listening to Benny Goodman and Lester Young. I remember one album (331/3) was simply titled “Lester Willis Young”. Sure enough, the letter arrived about ten days before my 17th birthday, it said to report to Whitehall street in NYC where I would be sworn in and then put on a train bound for the Great Lakes Navel Training Center, in Waukegan, Illinois, and to just bring essential items. I had a portable record player that looked like a small briefcase and the turntable kind of folded out and didn’t take a lot of room, so I brought it along with my “Lester Willis Young” album.
    After a few days we got to Waukegan, and while being processed in, they took my record player and the album and I never saw them again.

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