Yesterday I drove up to Cotati and visited/jammed and sang songs with a former weekly student (who has Cerebral Palsy) who started with me in 1996 when I lived in Sonoma County. He was 16 then and is now 37. He is such an avid music fan, more open to different styles of music than most people, knows so much about hundreds of artists, bands: who played on or wrote this or that, and so on. We use a pile of music books that started with just one song on a piece of paper to eventually over 50 song books from the Beatles to Steely Dan and so much more…Our weekly lessons often went on for over 2 hours and consisted of mostly jamming, having fun, talking about music, and making jokes. This went on for well over 15 years even afte after I moved to Walnut Creek but at some point I couldn’t continue regularly…yet needless to say, we became friends from the start and have remained so ever since. In reality he has taught ME more than I have taught him, which is really only a few chords and some encouragement to really go for it with the slide or the harmonica and let it fly !

Anyway, I am grateful to have him in my life and to still go up there when I can, and then we go out to dinner with his folks, who have treated me like family from the beginning. They were generous as always; taking care of the dinner tab and sent me home with a wondeful holiday present, which means two gifts because the first gift is getting to play music and just hang out with Eric !

Mark Benjamin

Mark Benjamin has blogged 30 posts