The Longshot That Came Through
Several years ago, my friend Tony Plog—known to the music world as composer and teacher Anthony Plog—wrote a blog post telling what he had learned from, of all things, the night I met Yvonne. If you’ve heard this before, bear with me—this is Tony’s version, and the story has a moral.
Oh, one more thing. Tony didn’t say so, but It happened on Halloween.
* * *
Ron Kidd and I first met in 1967, when I joined the American Youth Symphony at the beginning of their new season. Ron was already established as the principal trumpet of the AYS, and at that first rehearsal I was fifth trumpet. By the second rehearsal I was second trumpet, simply because the other three players never came back. Since that time almost 50 years ago, Ron and I have been very close friends.
In addition, because Ron is both an editor and a prize-winning author, we have collaborated on a number of projects, ranging from children’s operas to a cantata and an oratorio. Through the years Ron has been an inspiration to me for many reasons, and here is just one of them.
Back in the 1970s, when we were both single and trying to meet women, Ron often went on Sierra Club hikes, where the women tended to be fun and have similar values. The extreme opposite in those days were discos. Many people would go to discos with one goal: to pick up someone for a superficial fling. And that was not the type of person Ron wanted to meet.
One evening he was faced with a dilemma. There were no Sierra Club hikes or anything similar, which seemed to leave him just two choices: either stay home and watch TV or go to Big Daddy’s, a disco in Marina del Rey. He thought, “If I go to Big Daddy’s, the chances of meeting someone I would would like (and who would like me) are practically zero. But if I stay home and watch TV, the chances are absolutely zero.” So he went to Big Daddy’s.
As it turned out, a young woman named Yvonne Martin had just gotten over a failed romance and had gone for drinks with a friend to commiserate, ending up at Big Daddy’s. Ron and Yvonne met, and next year they will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Their beautiful daughter Maggie is now a student at Northwestern University.
I think about this a lot. There are so many times when I know that if I try something, there is very little chance of success. But, like Ron, I also know that if I don’t try, there is zero chance of success. And so I always try to push myself to follow Ron Kidd’s dating strategy.