Wednesday, July 12, 2006

$150 Worth of Woody Herman's Orch

One of the advantages of working out of my room is being able to listen to compact discs if I feel like it. Couple of days ago, a friend sent me a collection of Woody Herman and his Orchestra. For those who tuned in late, Woody was quite the bandleader and this set of discs covers his work for Columbia records from 1945-1947. I haven't counted the pieces, but it takes seven cd's to hold them all. Plus a 32-page booklet. Plus the container to make this a boxed set. Amazon prices it at $150; for my friend, it's pocket money.

He likes the newspaper column I write each week about the big band days. Much of that came from the years I spent as a disc jockey, playing the bands and, generally, music before 1950. This fellow is a member of the Musicians' Union in New York City. I thought of joining the Local in our city, but never got around to it. That would have been neat: a Union musician who has a music column in the newspaper and used to be a dj. Put that in my obituary next to my years spent as a Notary Public.

You can be sure I sent him a very sincere and enthusiastic Bread & Butter Letter in reply. On paper, with a stamp, promptly.

I read too many letters in the advice columns about people who received this or that gift and never responded. Did it arrive? Did they like it? Do they have any manners? Should I even bother again?

My brother and I had to set up an account to settle Mom's estate some years back. The bank we chose was a fairly small branch a few miles from her house. The manager was very helpful, especially since I live in another state and my brother lives in another country. After a year or so of dealing with the manager, we wrote a letter of appreciation to the head of the corporation, as well as one to her. She told us that, in twenty years of being in banking, it was the first thank-you letter she had ever received.

You don't have to wait until someone sends you a $150 set of cd's to thank them. A note to their boss (with a copy to them); a word of thanks, especially in front of a higher-up; you never know what kind of day they've had and what this can do for them.


Anonymous ruthc said...

Thanks for reminding me to send that bread & butter note!
A couple of nights ago I was stranded in Chicago with no room at any of the inns; the relative of a relative took me in. Of course I know to send a note (and flowers), but we all know the road that those good intentions are on!
I shall drop what I am doing (which is catching up on all your blogs)and attend to that note (and the call to the florest) immediately!

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