In her junior year, Rosie was falling behind. She needed an elective which meant attending the campus for an additional day, Wednesday. Mom didn’t want to do that. Dad took up the slack. This meant that he drove 100 miles round trip to pick up Rosie from school and take her home. Rosie loved it because it gave her more time with Dad. She visited Dad on the weekends unless Mom came up with an excuse why she couldn’t. All went well until October. The Rule was that Rosie had to be home by 8pm so Mom could go to sleep for work in the morning. On this night, the Daddy/Daughter thing was to find a Halloween Store. Rosie had a specific one in mind and got us lost. Promptly at eight o’clock I got a text from Mom.
‘WHERE ARE YOU???????”

“Keep your pants on, we’ll be there in five minutes.”

I dropped Rosie off at 8:10PM. I usually waiting there for a few minutes before heading home, but I was exhausted and had to get home for sleep and work too. So I left.

Life was not good for Rosie in Mom’s house. She had threatened suicide twice. We had set up a rescue plan if she ever felt unsafe to be there. She would call or text me with the word “LONDON” somewhere in the conversation. That was code for “Come and get me”. If I was 50 miles away and had a group of trusted friends that would pick her up and keep her safe until I got there. Many were Rosie didn’t know so if a stranger came to the door and used the word LONDON. She would walk out the door and go with them, no questions asked.

I was almost out of the city when she texted me, “COME BACK”.

I did a Bat Turn on the freeway and headed back. I also dialed 911 and told them there was a domestic dispute at the house. They wanted to know who was involved. I said, “Mother and teenage daughter” and I was going to get Rosie. They told me to stay in my car until the officer arrived. When I pulled up, Mom and Rosie were in the front yard arguing. Mom at the front door and Rosie standing in the yard surrounded by full trash bags. Her stuff.

I dialed 911 again.
“They’re in the front yard now.”
“Are they violent?”
“No just yelling.”
“Is there a weapon present?”
“Mom has a pistol, but she doesn’t have it in her hand.”
“Stay in the car. Officers are responding. I’ll stay on the line. Do not hang up.”
At this point Mom noticed me and came storming over to the passenger side. The window was open.

I looked at my GPS screen displaying:
I wondered if Mom could see it. The 911 spoke,
“Officers will be there immediately.”

Mom pissed her pants. I know that because she said she had to change her pants and of course I could see it. She fled into the house. Rosie started to drag her stuff to the car and I told her not yet. The officers had to be there first. Mom came back out in new pants and brought a lawn chair where she sat down. A silent stand off occurred. Mom at the door, Rosie in the yard and me in the car.

The Police arrive.
I stick both my hands out of the car and the officer approaches me.
“Who are you?”
“I’m the Dad”.
“Stay in the car.”
He went up to talk to them and his back up arrived. He got me out of the car and I filled him in with what was going down. I felt that Rosie’s life was in danger. When he walked up, Mom was doing her best “June Cleaver” impersonation.

“What can I do for you, officer?”
“I’m here to arrest somebody”, said the second cop.

Mom pisses her pants for a second time and excuses herself.

Second Cop, “Don’t go anywhere”.

Mom sits back down and her wife brings her a Big Gulp of coffee. One cop takes Mom and one cop takes Rosie and get their sides of the story. I hadn’t felt so helpless since Rosie learned to ride a bike. I couldn’t help her at all and all I could was watch. I heard her side of the story and was proud and shocked. When she got home, Mom erupted. After smacking Rosie around and telling her that she won’t be going to school on Wednesdays anymore, mom and wife settled down to watch tv. Rosie wasn’t allowed in the Livingroom, ever. So Rosie started putting her stuff in trash bags. She had planned this. She knew she would be ignored so she texted me and started putting her stuff in the yard. Mom noticed as Rosie took out the last bag. That’s when I rolled up.

The cops came to me with their decision. This was a civil matter. Rosie would stay at home and I was to go home. I told them that was unacceptable. We would all leave and Rosie would go inside and when you were called back it wouldn’t be a civil matter. It would be criminal, and Rosie would be dead. The cops huddled. First cop tells Rosie to start loading her shit. Second cop informs Mom that he has enough to arrest her or she could let Rosie go with her father.

In her Senior year, Rosie attended Ashley Ridge High School in South Carolina. She said she wanted to go to college in South Carolina and be closer to her older brother and as far away from her mother as possible. We moved to SC to support her decision. She got therapy at Ashley Ridge and thrived. Rosie scored so many scholarships that she  got a Free Ride to College. Her major is Graphic Arts with a minor in Business. She already sells her artwork.



Me on the day I got my trumpet, 1967. Still have it.

I’ve played trumpet since fourth grade. I wanted to play the drums but they said I had to wait until sixth grade. I picked the trumpet because it only had three keys and Dad said that “Gerry Owen” would sound better on the trumpet than the clarinet.

I played all the way through high school. In my junior year at good old Seaside High, Dr. Bayes decided that we needed a Jazz Band. He took us to a Maynard Ferguson concert and the rest is as they say “History”. On the first day of our senior year the first trumpets were asked for a tuning C. Without any discussion all four of us belted out High C not the Middle C. “Oh, know I know why none of you talked to me last summer”. We all went home after the MF concert and started doing secret range exercises.

In our senior year, Don Schamber brought the MPC Jazz Band to play for us. It was a recruiting drive. Richard Elms and I wound up in the band. We played for two years, 1976 and 1977. It was great. Don, you see was the talent coordinator for the Monterey Jazz Festival. For our concerts he’d bring in “Famous Folk” as guest artists. We also got to be the muscle at the Festival so that got us to meet alot of people. Dizzy Gilespie, Chick Corea, Herby Hancock to name a few.

We actually got a visit from Doc Severinsen.   He was vacationing in Monterey and he needed a place to practice. His hotel said they didn’t have enough insurance. So Don scheduled him a practice room right through our practice session. We could hear him when we showed up.  We waited impatiently for the Man to show up. Most sessions end on the dot. Slam, Bam and off to class. That day was different. Suddenly everyone wanted to stay. “What say we take that from letter B again?” That sort of thing.  Then he walked in. T shirt and jeans. Sat in the front row of our little theater. It was on. Some folks in the band wanted a job. In fact, I think he hired our drummer. Anyway. After a couple of tunes, Don turns to him and says, “Well I guess I have to break the ice. How do they sound?” Doc said,”Pretty good. But none of you trumpet players are breathing right.”  He has us come off the stage and sit in the front row. He went up and stood on our risers in the back. When he blew a note you could almost feel the breath hit you in the face. WOW! Then he gave us an impromptu brass clinic. The Monterey Herald showed up and we were on the front page of the local section. In the picture, that’s my elbow on the right. I can’t win for losing. I wish I still had the clipping.

That's me in my "Concert Shirt" and my Mom. This might have been on the night of the Asilomar concert. But it is the shirt I wore that night. Pretty cool huh?

By February 1977 I had to make a choice. Music or aviation. I picked aviation and joined the Air Force. I was on Delayed Enlistment until May so I could finish the semester.  Don was writing Asilomar at the time and he wrote me a fourth trumpet solo. Kinda a going away present. Yes, that’s the sound of the ocean in the song. Don went down to Asilomar beach and recorded it himself.

Sadly Don died in March, 2011. But here he is conducting “Asilomar” in 1977.

My Mom sat in the audience with a radio/cassette recorder on her lap.

[Note to the Family: You can hear my Mom say “Wow” at 7:48]