Janet has a remarkable memory for faces, especially if seen in a dramatic/musical context. I'll never forget when she was 13 years old, and immediately recognized the new high school chorus intern years after seeing him perform—in a video, on a small-screen television, in a non-speaking part—in a college opera production.My memory for faces is quite the opposite. I have a hard time recognizing good friends out of context! What I've seen in print, however, is another story.
A friend is looking forward to raising chickens, and on her blog mentioned her plans for acquiring buff orpingtons. "Buff orpingtons"? I know nothing about chickens other than a few good recipes, but as soon as I read her page I remembered the only other place I'd heard the term: Dorothy Sayer's Busman's Honeymoon. They play no role at all in the mystery, so there's no reason in particular I should have remembered them.
Last night we attended a Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra concert. The first work was a beautiful modern piece called Musica Celestis, written by Aaron Jay Kernis; the last, Beethoven's Third Symphony. In between we heard Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, featuring a cellist born in 1980 playing a cello born in 1790. Both were delightful. The cello was a Lorenzo Ventapane; the musician Julie Albers.
I recognized her name as soon as I saw it. But why? My first thoughts went down the logical trail of someone Janet knew at Eastman, but reading her biography squashed that idea. When I learned she was from Longmont, Colorado, however, the mystery was solved.
Many years ago I discovered a book, by Robert Leland Johnson, called Super Babies. It is the story of the first few years in the life of his son, Anthony—once a sickly, premature infant, now an MIT graduate. At the very end of the book (1979), Anthony begins to take Suzuki violin lessons. This morning I pulled the book off my shelves and quickly confirmed that his teacher had been a woman named Ellie Albers, of Longmont, Colorado. Can anyone doubt my conclusion that Julie is her daughter?Memory is an amazing thing.