Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Date:  2 years ago ?

Dear Mr. Dastrup:
If you are “the Mr. Dastrup” that taught choir at Orem High School in Utah in the late 50’s and early 60’s then you are the one I’m looking for.  If not, please disregard this strange letter.
I had two teachers that made a very positive impact on my school years and you were one of them.  The other was a grade school teacher who passed away before I could express my thanks to her.   O.K. she lived into her 90’s so I guess I have to accept all the responsibility for not thanking her.  You can’t wait around forever to be thanked.   Anyway, I thought I would give it a shot to see if I could find you and thank you for being such a good teacher.  
There isn’t a Christmas that goes by that I don’t find myself singing along to “The Messiah” on the radio, a CD, or in church.  My husband was actually very impressed to discover that I knew the entire “Messiah” as well as “Requiem” which as I recall we would sing at Easter.    You first admitted me to choir in the 10th and 11th grade and then allowed me to be in Acapella Choir my senior year.    This was a real feather in my cap during high school  because you were known to be very discriminating   O.k. I also made Tigerettes my senior year but I think I was a “mercy” vote-in because I had tried out for cheerleader 5 times (varsity and junior varsity) and never made it.     Anyway—loved to sing and being in Acapella and Choir allowed me to do this loudly with quality people.
Many years later as a young mother I joined the Women’s Choir in my church.  You can imagine my surprise when the leader of the choir informed me that “I couldn’t carry a tune” and it might be best if I sat in the audience.  This was the first time I had been told I couldn’t sing.   And you know what, I think she was right.  I truly believe I’m tone deaf.   In fact, I’m amazed at how badly I sing. 
I can only assume that you in your generous and kind way saw a young girl that wanted to sing and had no talent and so you put strong people on either side of me and let me sing as loud as I wanted.   For this I will be eternally grateful.    I had the great fortune to marry well and not only is he handsome but he has a great voice.  You guessed it---he won’t join a choir, or sing in public.  Says he can’t read music and I tell him “neither could Frank Sinatra”.  I also tell him that in his next life I’m going to have the beautiful voice and he will be tone deaf because he didn’t use it in this life. 
So to close, thank you for fostering a love of music and singing that might never have bloomed if you hadn’t been so generous.  


lakeverna said...

Thanks for sharing Richard with us. He sounds like he knew his student's needs. I had many good teachers in HS but the one who comes to mind was Coach Forch. He let me stay on the basketball team my senior year so the good players had someone to practice against. We ended up second in the state 1965 finals.
I enjoyed reading several of your other blogs. I enjoy how you write.
During the summers I live in the 1909 family cottage on the south shore of GL and play at Inn Keeping at Anna's Place. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. I have my blogs on wordpress.com under two names, lakeverna and stevebatty

DL said...

I have neglected reading your blog on the OHS website. Will try to do better. Nice tribute to Mr. Dastrup. I need to write you on another matter.

DL said...

And I just returned and read you again. Hope all is well, Judy.