The piano daily responds to the skilled finger work of a ten year old boy, grandson of the home builders. He and his family live on an adjoining lot.
Hearing Jonathan render the stately music of Bach and Beethoven, I realized why the magnificent instrument had so arrested my attention. Memory drew back scenes of the student recitals of college classmates. The recital piano was situated on stage in Memorial Hall. Nervous music majors entered from behind the curtain which quartered off one side of the back-stage area. Now, seeing that piano in Augusta (GA), I envisioned the instrument central to the recital of Dode Phillips.
Dose was the son of the famous Erskine College football player, David Gardiner Phillips III, also called “Dode.” Among the many stories of Dode’s gridiron prowess, is the assertion that he once crossed the goal line with two - or was it three? - opposing players hanging onto his jersey.
Maybe the elder Dode had dreamed that his son, an only child, would be a great football hero. But because that son was crippled (I believe from birth), any such ambition was laid aside.
In his early college days Dode used a crutch and later walked using only a cane. But the night of the concert he entered from the wings a bit slowly but without the familiar cane. The audience was motionless with a breathless awe. As he approached the bench of the grand piano, classmates burst into a standing ovation reminiscent of the stadium roar when a quarterback makes an astounding play.
Every Sunday at Ebenezer ARP Church I see next to the pulpit a marble plaque commemorating the forty-four year ministry in that church of David Gardiner Phillips I. DGP I was the great-grandfather of DGP IV. Young Dode was later to teach at Columbia University and to become the father of four children, one of whom is named David Gardiner Phillips V.
"Lo, children are God’s heritage, to parents His reward; The sons of youth as arrows are, for strong men’s hands prepared."--- Psalm 127 in meter from “Bible Songs”