There are events in our lives that define us and help make us who we are…. I would like to share one of mind with you….
When I first came to Los Angeles from Texas I arrived with about $35 left in cash… I was able to find small job that made it possible to pay my part of the rent as I lived with a very good friend.
After a bit I decided to open my own repair shop on Western Ave in LA…. The land lord was a great lady named Evelyn and she rented the place to me based on a percentage of what I made… in the beginning that was sometimes $10 a week as I mad nothing…. After about 4 months I was truly broke and about to go back to Texas or Oklahoma when a man named Milton Hall came into the shop… I had worked on Milton’s saxophones a few times but just in the shop and he really didn’t know me…. Milton came over to me and handed me $1,000.00 in cash and said “Give it back to me when you can”… I was caught off guard and had no idea what to do or say .. but I need the money (he insisted) so, I took it…. as I recall it took me a year or a year plus to get the money back to Milton…. $40 here and $50 there…. I also did not charge him for work after the loan…. He never asked for any of the money back and never made me feel bad about taking the help… Milton was one of the best men I ever met in my life…. (by the way he looked just like Count Basie) Milton is responsible for my being able to stay in LA and for all the success and failures I had during my life there….. I often think about what my life would have been like without this great man…. Likely not much…. I miss him and wanted people to know what a great man he was…. To the memory of Milton Hall a truly great man and great American….. I am very proud to have met him and known him…..