by Ed Crumley
I think all of us were born with a gift or two, but some of us do more with them than others. One of my first memories was Mom singing Frere Jacques to me as a lullaby. I loved music early on but it took me a while to figure out what to do with it.
Mom sent me to a piano teacher who plastered herself beside me on the bench and yelled in my ear, "PLAY", resulting in my hating the ordeal, fearing recitals, and never learning to sight-read the notes on the page. Years later, I taught myself to play by ear after deciding the key and which three chords I needed to play a song.
I took up the clarinet in the junior high band, but was soon jealous of the guys in the trumpet and trombone sections because brass seemed more macho and they could make more noise. I ditched band in my high school senior year to sing in the school chorus. There, four of us formed a quartet we called "The Stair Steps" and sang Blue Moon on trembling legs before a packed school assembly. The name fit our shortest-to-tallest, tenor-to-bass lineup. During those teen years, I also sang in our church youth choir which took a 12-state tour which included Washington D.C.
In college, I taught myself guitar chords and serenaded my future wife on many sojourns to the park and lake. But, after that, decades rolled by before I seriously took up music again. When I finally did by joining a church choir, I realized what I'd missed all that time while steeped in work and kid's activities. Our lady director, also a voice teacher, and maybe a marine drill instructor in another life, taught us how to sing and led us in many enjoyable and creative concerts.
The church eventually declined to a point where we had to move on and I thought that, sadly, my music days were over. But the One Who gives us our gifts always has another plan for us to use them even if we can't see down the road.
We joined a church to be close to our son and his family and, miracles never cease, found another great choir I could join. But it didn't stop there. Later, a fellow new to that choir sat down next to me at practice one night and after some conversation invited me to join his gospel music band, The Firewheel Gospel Jubilee, which played at senior centers several times per month. Since then I've been singing, playing side on harmonica, and writing songs for the group which also includes guitars, banjo, fiddle, bass, mandolin, and keyboard players.
Neglecting to use our gifts is a drag on our spirits and we can never be really fulfilled until we find and develop them. Took me almost a lifetime to realize that. But better late than never!
About the Author
Radically changing careers after receiving a BBA degree in business administration from Baylor University in 1961, Ed founded Ed Crumley/Architectural Arts in Dallas in 1969 and began a forty-three year career producing architectural illustrations and architectural models for architects, real estate developers, and corporations locally, across Texas and around the nation. Later he wrote, illustrated, and self-published a basic correspondence course on architectural illustration which he marketed through small ads in art publications.
He has also used his writing talents observing modern culture as a freelance movie critic for Preview, a publication of Movie Morality Ministries for which he has detailed the plots and both the redeeming and objectionable material in the latest motion pictures. He has also written human interest pieces for the Christian Pulse.
After attending American Christian Writer’s conferences for several years where he attended many workshops on various phases of writing, Ed completed his first novel, a suspense/thriller, The Host, a novel of life and death on the high desert and has begun a sequel which features the same core characters, adds new ones, and deals with new issues.
The Host is available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Trafford Publishing.
Read an excerpt from The Host at:
Ed Crumley may be contacted at: