Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Letter from Tim O'Reilly

I was delighted to get this email from Timothy Patrick O'Reilly this morning. I publish it here with permission:


Rick>

It's a funny old world. First, I share your fond memories of the summers in Jackson Hole--it was magical and you have captured the ambience. I can't beleive it took me a year (or so) to find your site.

My memory too has some gaps (ha). I am fairly accomplished at Web searching, but have come up dry with updates on our other friends--I will keep searching periodically and let you know when I find something new. The following is what I can dredge up at the moment (and you need to weigh this in light of the passing years):

Sean Richarz was a music student at University of Idaho. One or both of his parents were on the faculty at Washington State and he lived in Pullman, WA. I did several Web searches to get a more current update (and that is the correct spelling of his last name--so it shouldn't be that hard--but his first name may be "Shawn"). I believe he's teaching band/music somewhere in the Northwest.

Paul Coover was the other trumpet player (your story about his dad was priceless).

John Eagle (back then) had been associated with the annual Shakespeare festival in Ashland Oregon.

I was in contact for a few years after Jackson with the drummer, Marco Won Fleming. He told me his dad was out playing slots the night he was born and the middle name.... One thing I remember distinctly is that he kept a record (back before computers and such) of every musician he ever played with on 3 X 5 cards. Marco knew the value of networking. I got a few letters from him after Jackson. I think he played with some fairly big names. A year or two after Jackson he was playing with a band called “Country something,” that had Ken Curtis as the front man (yes, Festus from Gunsmoke). A recent Web search on Ken Curtis shows a laundry list of music-related accomplishments (including being an original member of the Sons of the Pioneers). I lost track of Marco sometime in the early 80s—he was still in Nevada.

Pat Holt. Stubby fingers and played a lot of songs in C. Best left-handed honky-tonk piano player I’ll probably ever see. Remember how he would pick out a melody with a butter knife on the exposed strings of the cabinet grand with his right hand--and play the accompaniment with his left? Or play trumpet with one hand and piano with the other? He was adopted—told me his Dad’s last name was O’Casey. I met him at the Pink Garter lounge one night after the show and he let me sing a couple of songs while he played—I’m sure he was playing for drinks—but mostly because he loved it. He also claimed to have played with some names—although with him, I’m not sure how much was hype. You were kind with your description of his ruddy complexion--since we've now lived through the health kicks--we could take one look at him and know he was a heart attack waiting to happen. I felt I was pretty close to Pat--I wondered if he was still around.

Nancy. If I remember, she was Mickey Mouse at Disneyland and also an usher at one of the studios in Hollywood. She was a member of the Actor’s Guild and was worried about doing the summer gig out from under the union—I think her name appeared in the program as Nan Tuckett. She was a gentle one. I finally wrote her a letter a few years ago and it was returned unopened--I now know why.

Kathy Stainbrook. At a house get-together I heard her comment that she out to go back to daytime television?

Jon Stainbrook. I think I remember he worked on the staff of the Pittsburg Steelers doing PR and/or advance work. We never knew how long the show would last (and it often varied by 30-40 minutes) depending on his mood and whether he would trade Pollock jokes with the front two rows of the audience. A Pollock and an Indian got married and needed to decide on a name for their first child. The Pollock wanted a Polish name and the Indian wanted an Indian name—so they compromised. They named him “Runnin’ Dummy” (must have heard the Runnin' Dummy shtick about 100 times. Jon termed the production “Horse Opera.” I am very sorry to hear about his health. What ever happened to Jon Jon and Kathy?

Bob Houghtaling played pedal steel (and the daytime bartender at the Cowboy was a pedal steel player for Tarwater--Mickey?).

...

Bob Adams (the bass player). Ex-Army (quite possibly Nam). Had talked about doing studio work in California (before DJs) and we kidded him about recording elevator music. I actually ran into him by accident in downtown LA in the early 80’s—I recognized him. He was working then (maybe on sets) with the Rocky Horror Picture Show road production.

I have very fond memories also of the Willfords and Tom Dunham. The Willfords look like they haven’t changed. If you remember the parade in ’76, we loaded one of the pianos on a flatbed and then nailed 2 X 4s against the legs to keep it from sliding. Around one of the corners, the legs broke off. We pulled a clarinet player in for the parade (a friend of Tom’s) who was a State Psychiatrist in Utah. It made me nervous to be that close to a shrink—so you can imagine how Marco felt. There was an A-Frame restaurant just down the block from DJ’s—and I think we pulled the owner (Al?--a close friend of Jon) as an extra trombone.

I worked in my “off” times sweeping up in front and hosing the blacktop. I also worked for the Sr. Stainbrook for awhile in his White Water Raft business (he owned the Ben Franklin’s and the Yellowstone? White Water Rafting Company)--he was a nice guy. I remember walking the donkey home Founder’s Day night—because Jon was worried there’d be trouble (I had a lady’s 5-shot .38 I carried for the long drive from North Idaho—the road safety answer before cell phones). (The “Jack Mormons” came up that day every year and tore up the town). There was a great guitarist/musician back then by the name of Dan Murphy who played at the Mangy Moose. Those were wonderful times.

...

-Got my music degree (University of Idaho) in 1977.
-Played music (a solo gig) in hotel lounges in the Northwest and Canada through the beginning of 1979.
-Joined the Marine Corps in 1979 (music degree came in REAL handy [NOT]).
-Married in 1980.-1 (only) son born in 1983 (he is on the sloooowww college track—studying at the --Berklee School of Music in Boston—and will probably do something writing movie scores).-Retired from the USMC in 1999 (near Washington, D.C.).

I worked intelligence (no Marine jokes please) for 20 years in the Corps, so when I retired, the natural place to find a job was here. My wife and I live very near Dulles airport in Chantilly, Virginia. Since retirement (and I am NOT anywhere near being retired), I have been working for defense contractors doing a variety of stuff—some of it technical (but again, I was a Marine).

For the past 3 years I’ve been traveling doing counterterrorism “stuff.” I spent a long time in Afghanistan, 6 months last year in Saudi Arabia, some time in Iraq, and a month or two in about half a dozen other countries. I will soon start traveling again—shorter trips this year—worldwide (unless I can get back to Afghanistan—or get pulled back into Iraq). I still have land in North Idaho—and the long range plan is to move back up there (up near Coeur d’Alene)—but that seems more and more elusive.

I am getting into music again—doing some writing—learning to use ProTools. Your Blog was more than kind—I never was much of a guitar player—but I am excited about some of the original stuff and we will see. I am very impressed with your music—I really think you have a shot.

There was a sighting in the past couple of years of one of the playbills from Dirty Jack’s—so, yes, I have one (it may be in Idaho). When I find it, I will scan it and send it on. Please send my regards to Tom Dunham and the Willford’s—and again, thanks!

Tim