My twenties were a blur. I loved the early years at Emerald. Everything seemed fresh and new. We were as far as you could get away from The Man and The Establishment. I loved learning how to garden, and how to build crazy-ass houses. I love being the music guy in the commune, and I loved being a Dad, and I loved that Sythia enabled me to put Cassandra in the rear view mirror. I thought of Greg fondly and often, because I still played all the old Grendel tunes. Every few months, whenever I heard that someone was traveling somewhere, I’d stick something in an envelope, usually something having to do with music, and ask them to drop it in a mailbox when they reached their destination. I never included a note or anything that could be traced to me personally.
I started Jeroo on guitar when he was six. I think his first song was On My Birthday.
My twenties were a blur. In Law School they spend the first two years trying to bury you with so much work that the last thing in the world you want to be is a lawyer. The third year is all about specialization and getting a job, which in my case was going to be with my Dad’s firm. Since losing Del, I’d lost any inclination to stray far from the proven path. Then Cassandra got pregnant with Wendy. I’d try pulling out the guitar every once in a while, but that would just make me think of Del, and Grendel, subjects that made me sad.
After Wendy came the twins in short order, Vera and Chuck. We moved several times, but wherever we were, sooner or later I’d get the plain envelope with no return address, no note, always a different postmark. The contents varied– an article clipped from a magazine, a record, a picture. The only common theme is that there was always a music connection. I’d share them with Cassandra who’d give me the same quizzical look. Whenever I told my Dad, he’d say “I’m telling you … the boy’s not dead.”
Then, on my 30th birthday I get a phone call. A young boy’s voice asks if I am Greg Brewster, and when I confirm it, he starts strumming an acoustic guitar and says “After ‘Happy Birthday to you’ and ‘You Say It’s Your Birthday’ this is the world’s third most beloved birthday song'” :
Del: For Greg’s 30th birthday I called him and had Jeroo my birthday. I wish to hell I could have been there to see the look on his face!
Greg: It was a good song! These days, Del sings it to me on his cell.