She Said, My Topic is Dizzy Gillespie

This morning I am remembering accepting Dixmont’s First Selectman’s invitation to serve as one of three judges of a public speaking contest for grade school kids. Not that I felt qualified to do so!

Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

The second speaker, as I recall, was a petite 12-year old girl with long dark hair. Standing onstage in the school gym, this young lady said her topic was Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy Gillespie??? For the next few minutes this kid spoke of how she discovered this legendary jazz trumpeter, and how much Dizzy Gillespie influenced her own trumpet playing.

I was – no pun intended – blown away and delighted to hear a 12-year old who knew about, and spoke with passion and knowledge about, Dizzy Gillespie.

Not long after that I came across a photo book about Dizzy. I bought it thinking I could get it to that student somehow. That never happened. From time-to-time, such as this morning, I remember that young lady and regret not making more of an effort to get her that book. I hope she’s still playing.

And, yes, I voted her as the public speaking contest winner.


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