12 OCT 2022 in Reflection of
MAY of 2011
That We Might Live at Mount Pleasant HS in Iowa
Dame Mary Sigillo Barraco was a POW of the NAZIs and Knighted by Belgium Freedom Fighter from WWII. At the beginning of May of 2011, I took photos of Dame Mary’s Gifts. Those bottles you will see in the photos are still unopened and always will be.
In that same month, only days before the trip to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, I composed the Film Score for “Pluripotent.” In 2003, after Hurricane Isabel and inside a destroyed house, I composed another film score AND wrote: “BEYOND COURAGE”… That We Might Live.
On 13 May 2011, I had a meeting with the Band Directors and had NO IDEA of what was waiting for me in Iowa! They really really DID this right!
I’m not sure when I left for Iowa. I was delayed in Detroit. 10 Hours. After 10 Hours, they canceled the flight. I was in contact with Jim DePriest (Band Director whose Dad was a Vet) the whole time. He said, “we’ll get you here.”
Starting with photos designated as 14 MAY 2011-TWML in Iowa, you will see that Jim had a Band Parent who owned a KING AIR 250. The pilot and family flew into Detroit and picked me up! Delta would forward my bag. Band parents would pick it up. I felt like James Bond flying in that thing!
The bag never showed up. No tux. In fact, there was no change of clothes at all. We went to Walmart. I bought bathroom stuff and a shirt, which I still have. In genes and that shirt, with 60 Vets around me, I conducted “God Bless America”. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!
You will also note that they used the funds from the concert to get their Local Vets to DC via “HONOR TOUR”. As SYNC would have it, I had just taken Dame Mary on an Honor Tour. (I am noticing these SYNCS only now, 11 years after the fact.)
From 14 MAY 2011-TWML in Iowa-017 to 085, you will see photos that I took from the presentation. (Some pro shots too.) I can only say, take a good look at everything and absorb it. And yes, that IS a Japanese Band that sent me photos while I was in Iowa!
Unbelievably, and I realize this only NOW, it was on the 15th that the USS INDY Survivors held their gathering at an Airshow in Indiana.
Now, with some chills and tears, look at the photos beginning with 20 MAY 2011-Turk USS BATAAN-001.
First of all … THAT is Turk’s Rainbow, the photo I took at the very Moment Turk was being buried at Sea somewhere near Indonesia. Turk Turner was an ex-POW of Bataan & Corregidor. While wounded, he saved his Captain from a scuttled USS PERCH before 3 and ½ years at a concentration camp. Turk's service is facilitated by Captain Erik M. Ross of the USS BATAAN, a ship, and crew with which we have had a long-standing relationship.
PART II of an already amazing Story.
On the evening of 12 OCT 2022, the same day I had compiled this documentation of the superbly done Concert in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, I received a letter.
“Steve, you may not remember us but we commissioned a piece for Jakarta International School a while ago and we are now back from overseas in Naples, Florida playing in community bands here.”
SLM: Not only do I remember, but I have an incredible Story to tell you, as briefly as I can. Ready!? The piece was “Our Time as a Song in the Universe”. (see photos below)
As you may recall, I tried THREE Times to get to Jakarta. Each time was met with disaster, and 2 times I got all the way to Newark, either missed or met with canceled flights, rented a car, and drove back about 6-7 hours to Virginia. Twice!
After the 3rd Time, (canceled in Norfolk), I visited Dame Mary, an ex-POW of the NAZIs during WWII. (Her Story is a Novel.) She said, “That’s enough. Three times?”
Well, I don’t know if I had ever told John (Salminen, the Commissioner) this, and I’m fairly sure it was a different flight, but there was a PLANE CRASH in the waters of Indonesia around the same time I would have successfully made that 3rd Trip.
Now, all of that is chilling in itself except for this. Literally MOMENTS ago, prompted by a discovery made by a Friend, I resurrected materials from May of 2011. In those photos were mementi of Dame Mary… and more chillingly, Turk Turner. Turk was buried at Sea somewhere near the waters of Indonesia. You see, he too was a POW, but of the Japanese in WWII. He wanted to be buried at Sea with his shipmates from the USS PERCH. I literally wrote this Story about Kakehashi: That We Might Live in Iowa to my friends mere minutes ago.
The USS BATAAN
You writing now about, America the Brave!
It all adds up to something beyond coincidence… surely… SYNC.
Enjoy the PHOTO-Journal Story & Godspeed! S