9/10/22. I am sad to say that my good friend Bill Platt passed away this week. Bill was a wonderful guy and he had a stellar career with the Cincinnati Symphony as Principal Percussionist for over 40 years. Some memories:
- I first met Bill over 20 years ago when I was at the Chicago Drum Show. It was my first year of setting up a booth (which I shared with someone else so I could afford it). I had a prized drum there: The very first Rogers wood Dynasonic snare drum that I ever owned. I was always a big fan and had never even seen one in person, and then got lucky and found one, so I bought it. Bill happened to wander by the booth, saw the dyna, and introduced himself. He proceeded to tell me he was a huge fan of wood dynas and in fact they used them in the Symphony. This started a very long friendship, and I always looked forward to seeing Bill each year at the Chicago show.
- Another one I owe to Bill: When I was just starting my IL store I had wanted to carry Zildjian. I loved Zildjian cymbals, and I grew up only about an hour from the factory, so I used to drive up there and sit outside and wonder if I could ever go in.
Anyhow, I didn't think Zildjian would even want me as a dealer because I couldn't afford to buy much. But, Bill was heading there with the Cincinnati Symphony percussion section to pick out cymbals, and he arranged for me to be able to go as well. I'll never forget that. The trip was wonderful and I hand picked 20 ride cymbals. (Doesn't seem like much these days, but back then I was worrying about how I was going to pay for those!!). I owe this experience to Bill's kindness.
- Saved the best for last: Many years back Bill had decided to retire from the symphony. They were going to be performing at Carnegie Hall in NYC, and this would be Bill's last performance in this great hall. Bill graciously invited myself and my wife Deb, along with his good friend Peter Erskine and Peter's wife Mutsuko to be guests at this performance. This was a great honor for me and one I will never forget.
So, what does this tell us? It tells me that there is nothing as precious as wonderful friendships and that these friendships should be treasured. And, it also tells me that we all need to do what we can for others. The things that Bill did for me were done out of friendship with no expectation of anything for himself. These gestures were hugely meaningful to me and they have created memories that will last long after Bill has passed. We can all learn from this. Bill, we'll miss you greatly!