|The Crookston Juvenile Band, 1917|
I’m so glad I did. A few days ago, I heard from a woman whose grandfather and great uncle are pictured in the photo. Marni Fylling’s grandfather, Ole Fylling, is No. 68; he’s on the far right of the original photo (and is not visible in the above cropped version). Her great uncle, Pete Fylling, is No. 45.
Here’s a close-up version that shows the Fylling brothers more clearly:
|Pete Fylling is No. 45, on the far left; Ole Fylling is No. 68, on the far right.|
Strange and amazing, indeed.
I learned from Marni that both her grandfather, Ole, and her great uncle, Pete, pursued an interest in music after their days in the Crookston Juvenile Band. Ole went to St. Olaf College (just up the hill from my house). He was a student director during his time there and received a beautiful baton that the family still has. Pete played and sang for years in the Anton Weeks big band, which was based in San Francisco and was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
I also learned that a love of music has continued through the generations. Marni’s father, Bob, was born in Crookston and was a composer and life-long musician. He played trumpet in the Navy band, and he played trumpet and upright bass in some of his own bands, but mostly he played piano.
“He really considered himself a composer, but played piano for a living – jazz as a young man, then popular music in the 70s and 80s (just because that’s what people wanted),” Marni wrote, noting that her dad continued to play jazz until he died three years ago.
Marni and her sister (who, like her grandfather, attended St. Olaf) both play the piano and enjoy listening to a variety of music, but the performer gene went to their brother, who can play any instrument and who was always game to try something their dad showed them on the piano.
“Having music in the family is truly a gift,” Marni continued. “As much as I miss my dad, it’s amazing how much of him is still here in his recordings, and we’ll always have that music.”
I am grateful to Marni for sharing the story of her musical family with me, and with the readers of my blog. Nearly a century has passed since our grandfathers and great uncles played together in that Crookston band; although they would likely be surprised to learn how Marni and I connected, I think they’d be pleased to know that their passion for music lives on through their descendants.