“Good morning, Cousin R.E. How are you?”
“Confused but happy, Cousin H.F. – a bomb of joy has exploded in my house, and I don't know what to do.”
Captain R.E. Ludlow had called his cousin Colonel H.F. Lee, who was further along on the journey of returning music to being a key part of his life.
Colonel Lee knew instantly what had happened.
“You let yourself have enough fun with your grandchildren to rediscover that big, beautiful bass voice!”
“Yes! I still have the low C to middle C, and if I warm up, I think I could still get down to at least A and up to at least E!”
“Isn't it wonderful, R.E.?”
“Yes! I don't know what to do!”
“What do you mean – get warmed up, man! Anything and everything is about to happen to you, with that voice! You have a choir in your house, and one or more of your grandchildren is going to ask you tomorrow: 'Grandpa, when can we all sing again?' Someone is going to hear you singing, note that voice, and say to you, 'Can you record X at home, Captain Ludlow? Only ten percent of men are true basses, and only three percent of them can sing, and we need a bass line for Y.' You are going to be able to make money hand over fist from home – you just need to invest in a website, some vocal samples, and a home studio!
“Get warmed up, man – you do know that you can sing with your soda and sell all of it that you want, at any time, right?”
“Oh, my little carbonator and I are just about to be overworked – General Hamilton was right and that is taking off … I hadn't even thought about writing and singing a jingle!”
“Music is the portal through which many men pass back to a life of peace and prosperity,” Colonel Lee said. “It took me a day from the time I was able to play my instruments and sing again to being invited to become part of Tricolor Sounds, and not long at all until that positive way to work with my emotions allowed me to admit to myself and acknowledge that I was in love with Maggie … and you see I am happily remarried now.”
“The eternal widower, happily remarried – music was that important?”
“So important that music therapy is an increasingly recognized subsection of the fields of therapy and mental health in general … but before that, when neither field existed, and neither did radio, we came together and we sang and played and did what we could for one another.”
“God knows my family and I need healing,” Captain Ludlow said.
“Which is why after 33 years, the tool has been put back into your hand – into your mouth, R.E. Embrace it! Get ready and stay ready!”
Later that evening, Melvin Trent thought he heard the sound of a great motor revving up … but no, that was Captain Ludlow on his back porch, gently vocalizing completely below the bass staff, the double-low A up to E, and then just sitting on that A, just letting it do what it did.
Robert Edward Ludlow Sr. was a basso profundo, the rarest of male voices, and had forgotten for 33 years. That was why his yelling was so utterly devastating; only a lion, in nature, routinely roared lower and louder – by a great degree, but still: Captain Ludlow's voice triggered that level of primal terror. He had instinctively known he could not ever raise his voice to his grandchildren for that reason.
But singing to them, even in terms of a mild vocalise? Oh, that was all good – they all came out onto the porch, and had a grand time listening to that low A in his chest. They loved their grandfather's new peaceful superpower and thought it was a big success, and so would everyone else!