|Dale & Paula in Florida, May 2015|
May 14, 2015
Dear Dale and Paula,
What can I say?
Well, being a Gemini, a lot. J
I absolutely LOVED being with you this past weekend. What a pleasure and privilege! You two are such special people. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me that we’ve reconnected. A positive gift from the old HH legacy. You both are a gift to me and I’m grateful beyond words.
Paula, I forgot what a cool lady you are! You are funny, smart, beautiful and have such a radiance about you. I just admire you so much. Nothing gets past you; you don’t suffer fools. You’re such a bright star. Dale is lucky to have you as his partner and spousal unit. I feel humbled to know you and wish to know you better. Distance ain’t got nothin’ to do with it, I feel. I’m glad you got to yak with Marty a bit. I figured you two might have a lot in common. Like putting up with your Performing Spouses! ;-)
Dale, there are so many things to say to you. I’m not sure where to begin. Truly. I’m almost at a loss for words. (Almost!) What I think I love about you is there are you are; so tremendously talented, such a showman, and yet there is humility and a lack of prickiness. And you’d have every right, in a way, to be an arrogant prick. You, more than any of us, after what happened to you, would have every right to be shattered, broken and nasty. You aren’t. I admire your resilience and grace! You have so much talent and experience! I’m in awe of what you know and how you share and sell it. For years, even before we reconnected, I would speak of you in the most glowing terms. Honest and true! No bullshit!
I remember when you came into the band. I knew instinctively I stood in the shadow of a giant. I was very intimidated by you, actually. I still am in a way. I know there is a shy side to you; I picked that up right away. I figured if I hung with you a bit that some of the glorious glow might rub off on me. My mom used to say, “Water seeks its own level.” Your level is pretty damn high and it makes me a better performer and person, knowing you. Knowing you both! You have an uncanny ability to lift up other people to your level. (On a personal note, I’ve been told by a director that I have that too, but you REALLY have it, brother!)
I’m really glad we all dissed the dirt Saturday night. I think we all needed to do that; it kind of healed some old wounds and it was stuff we can kind of laugh about, years on. There is nothing like a good gossip session, I always say! Marty said Ray was agog; he probably had no idea of the treatment we all received and of the personalities involved I think, and this may be a bit “out there” but it was driven home to me that perhaps we are all a little more “elevated” people in that we can be nice people, fun people and not be jerks. Looking back on it, it’s sad that HH and people like Wonnacott and even Barbara couldn’t and can’t do that. Massive insecurity, the more “elevated” part of me would say. I think it’s a case of thinking there isn’t “enough” for everybody. That someone has to be overshadowed in order for you to shine and vice versa. You are proof positive that, just like the millions of stars in the heavens, there’s room for us all to glow. We enhance each other,. Just as the night sparkles with thousands of lights and becomes more beautiful in doing so.
I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years in music and theater and I truly think you are one of the funniest, kindest, most talented, most generous guys (or gals) I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with and get to know. I’d walk through scorpion-infested muck to work with you again. I know if I do you’ll lift me up and support and encourage me. And make me laugh too!
(By the way, thank you for being so caring about my lame attempts to learn to play the ukulele, you have NO idea what that means! I’m not a “natural” at instruments and I doubt I’ll ever be as good as one-tenth of you but I can pluck away!)
We’ve all been tempered by the negative fire that was the old HH days. We’ve come out stronger. You, in particular. I admire your self-knowledge that said, “Yeah, I need to fix my old shit.” A lot of people wallow in their crap. You don’t. Because we’ve walked through the fire, we are (I’d like to think) bonded. We are family. As far as I’m concerned, we always will be.
You both are my brother and sister. You always will be in my heart. You both are a blessing to me.
I love you two!