Meanderings Bright Moments Contest

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tony corman <> -- 04/26/95 -- 08:29:28

It's Christmas Eve, 1968. I'm 14 years old, limping around Greenwich Village on crutches (sprained ankle) in the dead of winter. Sheet ice and stairs! One of those flights of stairs leads from my father's loft down to 14th Street. Another leads down under the street to the Village Vanguard. My dad introduces me to the owner, Max Gordon, who is kindly, tiny, and owlish. Max sets me up at a little table with a Coke. I sip and wait for...Rahsaan. Joe Texidor drifts to the stage and starts checking out his percussion tree. Dick Griffin warms up his trombone. The band assembles and kicks into a Christmas Eve set. Silent Night becomes a jazz waltz on flute. Greensleeves a modal flight for manzello (soprano sax). And the brightest moment of all: Rahsaan performs the Hallelujah himself, on 3 saxes! I don't recall the walk home; perhaps all that brightness melted the ice.

Sam Hokin <> -- 04/26/95 -- 13:18:46

Bright Moments are every moment I'm with my kids Natalia (5) and Mitchell (2). Every little thing, like being in the closet with a flashlight or finding a slug outside or yesterday's fashion show modeling the latest swimsuits just bought at Wal-Mart is a Bright Moment. For them, all of life is a Bright Moment, so for me, all of life with

Natalia and Mitchell is a Bright Moment.

Jeffrey Vargas <> -- 04/27/95 -- 21:28:34

Being in college is really hard. It means being away from your home, your friends, and your local haunts. For me, it meant struggling, and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. It didn't mean sitting around and wondering which shoes (I only had one pair, so that made the point moot) to wear with this or that outfit. It meant being broke; having to wonder where that next penny was going to come from to pay that phone bill, or pay for the groceries for this week or the electric bill. And it's rough to make ends meet when the only job you got is one that pays $4.50 in the library. Not to mention the 20-30 hours ou should spend studying.

Anyway, my bright moment came on one of those bleary Thursdays in Providence; the kind where it's raining, and since I don't have a thick jacket, I can feel the cold wind cutting through me on my way to work or classes. Up to my neck in bills, no food in the apartment and more work and less money coming in every week, I was about to go home and just fall into bed, when I remembered to check my mail. When I opened my box, I found a letter from my mother with a money order for $125. Not much, she said, but just something to tide me over during the winter. She wanted me to put it towards getting a winter coat, but instead, I put it towards groceries because what's the sense in being warm if you're dying of hunger?

Floyd Webb <> -- 04/28/95 -- 18:50:11

Working my ass off from sun-up to sundown and arriving home in the evening and slipping into my bed and as I fall off to sleep a brown apparition enters my space and descends upon me, a beautiful brown succubus drains me of my love and a deep fatigue pulls me into "le petit mort." I am awakened by the singing of birds and a soft head lays upon my chest.

Lester Kenyatta Spence <> -- 04/29/95 -- 21:34:25

The brightest moment of my relatively short life came after 9 months, 8 days, 14 hours, 57 minutes, and 13 seconds of anticipation, when a ray of pure moonlight came down joyously from the heavens on November 14, 1994 at 11:57:13pm in the wondrous form of Imani Edna Michelle Spence, with her mother's quiet beauty, her father's serious demeanor, and her great great grandmother Edna's chin. I have never been so blessed before, and never have I thought that I could produce such perfection.

Mel Martin <> -- 04/30/95 -- 12:47:08

Performing and recording with Dizzy Gillespie and Bebop & Beyond in 1991. We're in the dressing room and I'm testing my saxophone mouthpiece and he walks by testing his trumpet mouthpiece. "Want to trade 4's Diz?" I'm in his hotel room the night before the recording session playing him a tape of our rehearsal of his music. He's eating dinner, watching the ball game and taking short naps. I panic. His manager tells me he's absorbing it all. Afterwards he asks where he can get some weed. Session goes great. Chills in my spine when he sings "I Waited For You". The brightest moment of my life. Twice touring Japan with Benny Carter, small group gigs with Benny Carter, many conversations with Benny Carter. More bright moments. Hearing Rahsaan at the Jazz Workshop in the '60's announce that "we have a great dinasaur in the house" and brings up Elvin Jones. They Play until 3 in the morning. WOW! Big Bright Moment.

Stephanie Mason <> -- 04/30/95 -- 19:29:59

My bright moment came when finally arrived at the realization that I posess my own brightness. I had struggled long and hard to win the respect of my professor and mentor when I finally realized that I had it all along. He called me a scholar and a "real intellectual." That was certainly encouraging. But, when he said to the class "She's bad, man," that's when I knew. Coming from a man so serious, so demanding, so thorough, that is among the highest of compliments. It sounds silly, but I could have cried when he said it. To earn his respect was to know that I not only have something significant to say in this world, but that I am actually good at saying it.

David Naso <> -- 05/03/95 -- 10:08:14

I was 23 years old when I suceeded in getting the first money on my own. I was a swimming instructor. I made 100$ in one week. Then I went in a record store and, I didn't esitate even a while...I was going home with my 10 CD set of Complete Roland Kirk recordings on Mercury.

That was a bright moment.

Miguel Gonzalez <> -- 05/08/95 -- 16:20:52

9 years old after school watching tv on channel 12 the public broadcast ing service for kids whose parents are never home a full-time friend in an overtime family just one kid in philly gazing at the hypnotic blue light when a vision from where comes on surrounded by sounds in dark glasses with a large face and a mouthful of horns that filled the screen and puzzlement wonder enchantment laughter joy sorrow happiness happened in that room when rahsaan's big face filled the screen a soul shot out of the blue light landing in my heart not to be reawakened until much later with love in peace be with you my brother

Charles W. Sherrard Jr. <> -- 05/10/95 -- 08:41:05

Brightness surrounds each moment I spend realizing that I will receive my college degree on May 20,1995. After working full-time, becoming married (and a father) I have attained the only goal my father has ever verbally asked me for. To understand his pride as well as my own fills me with even more aspirations. Years of lacking pride and confidence seem to have been washed away. There is nothing I cannot do. No one can even take this away from me.

big daddy <> -- 05/18/95 -- 09:43:57

(didn't know it at the time but) it must have been my mother telling me that i was the greatest because i believed her / ramifications being that i never had to think less of anybody else to feel good myself

Matt Nowinski <> -- 05/19/95 -- 07:28:17

In the true spirit of Rashaan Roland Kirk, I thought to weave my
brightest moments together by grabbing my literary tenor, stritch,
and manzello and "playing" them simultaneously...
so here goes [bash-boom, whistle!]:

[the main theme stated in Quick Meal!.... was-the-deal..

three-part harmony; like Hard Hat!.... lil'-too-fat.. "Three for the Festival"] May Day!.... cap-with-fray..

Much More!.... was-the-score.. Sip'n Beer!.... not-much, dear.. Ho-Kie!.... Ho-kie-high!...

One Kiss?.... maybe two, then.. Wanna Be!.... like Daddy, son?.. Tech Tech!.... our-V-P-I..

ring n'Switzer-Land?- -a- [tenor solo] ...or may three, and -be- it all [stritch solo] a named Stan, and we can start again, -son-

l o a [manzello solo] Solarex...s rah,

[nose flute] Toot!

[the main theme is Talkin' Bout!.... Them Bright-mo-ments.. restated in unison] Talkin' Bout!.... Them Bright-mo-ments.. Talkin' Bout!.... Them Bright-mo-ments..

[crash-bam, grunt, siren!]