AJ and Patrick and George – Oh My!

Market square presbyterian churchMy memories of my time in Harrisburg don’t conform to reality. I lived there for three months shy of three years and it seems like I couldn’t possibly have done all the things I remember doing in such a short time.

But my memory is wrong.

For example, relying on my memory, I didn’t think that I met George and subsequently Pat, who introduced me to AJ, until I had been in Harrisburg for at least a year. In reality I must have met George sometime in the winter of 1978, only three months or so after moving there in November 1977.

I’ve mentioned George previously. He won the lead role in the Lebanon Community Theatre’s 1975 production of Night Must Fall, a part that I had unsuccessfully auditioned for. But I didn’t hold that against him. And I should give him his title just this once, Dr. George Smith, as he was a fully certified psychiatrist. I didn’t hold that against him either.

In any case we became fast friends.

One time when I was at his apartment, I noticed he had a copy of Who’s Who on the coffee table. I could only think of one reason why someone would prominently display a copy of that thick tome on their coffee table, so I thumbed through the pages to the S’s and confirmed my suspicion.

Although I don’t recall any details, I think George must have introduced me to Pat, maybe in the spring of 78, probably because Pat was also a Wagner and Strauss lover. You recall Pat. He and I drove to NYC for the Tristan concert

Then there was AJ Moulfair. AJ was the host of a program called Opera Showcase on the FM radio station WMSP. WMSP was owned and operated by the Market Square Presbyterian Church, and its programming consisted mainly of classical music plus a little religious stuff with some jazz and show tunes thrown in here and there. While it had a handful of paid staff members (station manager, engineers, etc.) most of the people there (including all the on-air hosts) were volunteers.

I listened to AJ’s program occasionally, and while I considered him extremely knowledgeable about opera, I didn’t tune in very often because at 90 minutes he could only play excerpts from operas and I preferred to listen to entire operas or at least entire acts at one time. Also, he programmed mostly Italian opera excerpts and I preferred the German repertory. I assumed that since AJ played mainly Italian works, that was his preference.

One evening George mentioned that Pat had called into AJ’s show, and they had got to talking. And, apparently, talking—and talking. And AJ invited Pat over to his home. It turned out that AJ was as big a fan of Wagner and Strauss as Pat and I were.

And the next time I spoke to Pat, he asked if I wanted to meet AJ Moulfair.

To be continued… 

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