My dear friend and mentor, Maestro Frank Salazar, would have been 82 today had he not died unexpectedly in June of 2000. This is especially peculiar to me when I remember that I am only one year younger than he was when we first met and began working together in 1985.
It's also peculiar how life makes very little sense to me without him in the world. I cannot imagine what I would have been if we'd not met; he was the one dream that came true for me without a relative nightmare. This picture, which was taken in 1992, says all you will ever need to know about how we felt about each other.
"We have something between us that’s all feelings," he said to me one night on the phone after I’d returned home from visiting him. He had just come home from the hospital after undergoing a triple bypass. "It’s not physical or intellectual," he said. "It’s all feelings."
Happy Birthday, Papa.