Today Jason Anderson, second Director of the Compline Choir (Seattle), posted the above picture on Facebook, reminiscing about Peter Hallock’s 85th birthday party celebration on November 21, 2009. Jason wrote: Six years ago, the stars aligned and I was privileged to dine with Peter Hallock and Richard Proulx at Chez Hallock. Carl & Kathy Crosier produced a most spectacular 85th birthday celebration feast for Peter. To those we love but see no longer and to those we love who continue to guide and inspire us.
Here’s what I wrote in my Christmas letter that year: A potpourri of Hawaiian fruits . . . baby spears of fresh Hawaiian pineapple, lychees stuffed with macadamia nut cream . . . caviar bites of red potato, crème fraiche and baby chives . . . dilled shrimp with cocktail sauce . .. paté on bremner wafer. . . . And those were just the hors d’œuvres for a grand feast Carl and Kathy Crosier prepared for their music publishing partner in Ionian Arts and close friend, Peter Hallock’s 85th birthday in November. . . Kathy was sure that the meal would make the next episode of “Dinner Impossible!” which included the instruction to Peter to “have the refrigerator and freezer COMPLETELY empty” upon the Crosiers’ arrival. The first stop was at IKEA, where a complete silverware service and two dozen wine glasses were purchased. Peter had already purchased a set of new dinner and salad plates. Carl had sent ahead 8 (count ’em, EIGHT!) boxes of kitchen utensils, saucier pans, serving dishes, table decorations, cloth napkins and the like. “We brought half our kitchen with us!” Kathy wailed. Their two suitcases were mostly filled with more kitchen utensils, including Carl’s favorite, an electric wine opener.
The rest of the menu included three “amuses-bouches:” stuffed mushrooms, Italian meatball with basil tomato, seared scallop with caramelized shallots; then the appetizer course was a lobster and papaya cocktail, accompanied by a roasted carrot and fennel soup drizzled with fennel oil and crème fraiche. The entrée was a trio of breast of chicken, filet mignon and king salmon with an orange béarnaise sauce, timbale of jasmine saffron rice and green and white asparagus. A lemongrass panna cotta with cranberry orange sauce, Big Island shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate, and Kona vanilla macadamia coffee finished off the meal in style.
Sadly, four of those people at the party — Carl Crosier, Peter Hallock, Ralph Carskadden and Richard Proulx — have all joined the choir of angels and those of us who are left must carry on. I’m thinking of that meal as I prepare my dishes for Thanksgiving a couple of days from now.
It was also today that former student Joey Fala shared the following video of the late McNeil Robinson in conversation with Stephen Tharp at last year’s New York City American Guild of Organists chapter meeting on September 8, 2014.
You might remember that it was this program called “A spectacular doublebill” which featured both Joey Fala and McNeil Robinson together and began with Joey playing a recital in front of all those high-powered New York organists. Go back and read my post here. Joey told me that it was at that meeting that he told Neil about Carl’s recent death and Neil was genuinely sad at the news. Now Neil is gone, too. (See “In loving memory, McNeil Robinson“)
We are grateful that all these mentors have touched our lives and what a privilege it has been to have known and been shaped by them.