Thursday, May 21, 2009

A bit of sadness

If you enjoy classical music, you may know who Jon Nakamatsu is. Concert pianist, winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997. Teacher of German at Mountain View High School. But it is doubtful that you know who Marina Derryberry was. She was his teacher since he was 6 years old, and she died recently after a lengthy illness.

But I wondered why the name Derryberry was familiar to me. Not anyone I knew. And then it hit me. Amalie had taught speech to one or more of the Derryberry children, and Am used to tell me about her speech students.

The following is from the Mercury News article by Richard Scheinin:

Jon Nakamatsu, the San Jose-raised concert pianist, lost a dear friend earlier this month. Marina Derryberry, his teacher since he was 6 years old, died after a lengthy illness that had left her bedridden.

"I had such a rock in her," reflects Nakamatsu, now 40, who held her hand as she slipped away May 5 at O'Connor Hospital at age 73. "Her whole focus, always, was for me to become an independent musician. But just knowing that that strength was there was such a comfort."

Well, I live in Mountain View, and Am was a speech teacher. Interesting the connections we make.

* * *

In the not-good-news department, my big scooter has disappeared. The one that, in yesterday’s post, I called the Kidilac. Yesterday evening I went out to pick up the mail, and where the scooter should have been was a big empty space. I’ve made a police report, but I don’t expect to see it again. What is strange, though, is that whoever took it, did not take the charger. Eventually it will run out of power.

Humor time:

A true story: Eight and a half months very pregnant with twins, the lady was used to getting nervous glances from strangers. But she never realized just how imposing she was until her husband took her out to dinner at a new restaurant. The hostess sat them at a table, took a long look at her stomach, and asked, "Would you like me to get you a high chair, just in case?"



A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.
One yellow pill I have to pop
Goes to my heart so it won’t stop.
A little white one that I take
Goes to my hands so they won’t shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot
Tell me I’m happy when I’m not.
The purple pill goes to my brain
And tells me that I have no pain.

The capsules tell me not to wheeze
Or cough or choke or even sneeze.
The red ones, smallest of them all,
Go to my blood so I won’t fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright,
Prevent my leg cramps in the night.
Such an array of brilliant pills
Helping to cure all kinds of ills…
But what I’d really like to know
Is what tells each one where to go!


  1. Her name sounded really familiar to me too but I haven't figured out why yet.

    I'm stunned meantime at the loss of your big chair. Ouch. I'm sorry! I'm sitting here thinking of the time when I was a kid when the next-door-neighbor's VW bug got stolen in the middle of the night by some kids who got drunk, went joyriding it, and they they tried to return it. Except they couldn't quite find the right spot... Which is why we woke up in the morning to find their car in the middle of our front yard.

    Maybe someone went joyriding, and and and...

  2. I read this a couple of days ago, and well, like Alison's recent post, needed time to think. It's more than sad that your Kidilac was taken. It's down right rotten! I had a car broken into in 1986, and my ex-husband's car was broken into in 1991 and then stolen in 1992. There's such a sense of violation. I hope your insurance can get you a suitable replacement but I wish this hadn't happened to such a valued possession of yours.

    As for Marina Derryberry, imagine all the years of joy she must have had delighting in the success of such a wonderful student and friend like Jon Nakamatsu. Thank you for sharing that tribute to an amazing pair.