February
6
2019

To old?

There is a dream inside everyone of us that we have placed on a shelf, in the closet, or in the back of our minds, at some point in our lives. These dreams are moved from the front to the back for various reasons, some good and some bad ... but they are still a dream in our hearts. At the age of 94, Frank Walsh had already lived a long, full life. But he wasn’t done dreaming about what could be. After his wife of 62 years passed away, he decided to follow his dream.” “This” was the dream he had one day, to join the local high school marching band. Frank had no formal musical training, though he’d been around marching bands through his years of playing sports and serving in the military. But he wanted to be around the high school students, because he thought it would make him feel young again.

So when Chad Davies, director of the marching band at Wilsonville High, heard about the idea from one of the managers at Walsh’s residential facility, he posed the question to his students. And Stephen Jennings, lead snare drummer, spoke for the rest of the band. “Awesome,” he said.

They decided that cymbals would be the best instrument for Frank, since it didn’t require him to read any music. So they fashioned a special pair for him to use and gave it a try. It didn’t come naturally at first, but Walsh, a lifelong learner who’d spent more than 40 years teaching in Oregon schools, kept at it.

"I've been practicing, you know," he said. "I watch YouTube videos on how to play the cymbals. I've learned how to keep the left hand stable and hit with the right hand and how to deaden the cymbal by pressing it against my body."

Frank Walsh sat with the band during Wilsonville’s game against Wilson High. When the band played the fight song, Frank played the cymbals. It was Senior Night. It shows that you are never to old to follow your dream. What is / has been your dream ... you have always wanted to accomplish?

« Back