#753: Ladano II

A sequel to #396:  Ladano


The Ladano clan is very proud of Dr. Kathryn, PhD.  She has the musical gift:  she can write it, play it and understand its structure down to the very skeleton.  That’s why she’s the doctor of music and not me.  I don’t have those gifts.  I can appreciate music, but I’ll never really be able to play it (or Grok it) on the level she can.  Not even close!

I’ve accepted this.  I continue to write about music, using the limited vocabulary I have, and although I wish I could dig deeper into the nuances, I do the best I can.  When Dr. Kathryn tries to explain music theory to me, my eyes glaze and the words sail over my uncomprehending head.  I wish I could get her to write something for me, but a doctor of music maintains quite a busy schedule!  (Much of it is Game of Thrones nights.)

My dad played saxophone his younger days.  Whatever the genes are for musical talent, they skipped by me completely.  My sister got them all in spades.  People expect me to be able to play.  I get that question all the time.  Twice in the last couple weeks, people asked me what I played, and were shocked when I said “nothing”.   It must be unusual in music when one sibling excels (how many doctors of music do you personally know?) and one gets zilch.

I imagine my dad sitting in his bedroom playing that saxophone, in grade five or six.  He would be practising something, probably by John Philip Sousa.  He never could have imagined, living in that house at 18 Division Street in Guelph, that he’d have a kid who is a doctor of music one day.  His father didn’t play music.  His mother liked musical movies but that was about it.  He didn’t come from a musical family at all.  Where did all that talent come from?  My mom has some music on her side, but that’s for another story.

18 Division Street looks completely different today; I couldn’t point it out if you asked me to.  But I remember it, and that’s where our love of music probably originated.  My dad and his saxophone.

A least I can imagine what it was like.  When Grampa Ladano died in the early 80s, my dad found an old 8mm film.  It took a couple years to convert it to VHS.  What he discovered was a video of my Grampa, Grandmother, and himself as a child, at the old house on Division Street back in 1946.  Full colour, too, which was very expensive in the 40s and for several decades more after.  That should indicate just how special this roll of film is.  My grandmother, who I never met (she died when my dad was a little boy) was known for her beautiful flower gardens.  The Horticultural Society decided to come over and film them, and the family together.  My dad is the young child dancing around!  He wasn’t supposed to, but he was trying to get on camera, and they didn’t have a way of editing things out!  He was sent to go and play elsewhere!  My grandfather is the shirtless man.  Just like the old days when shirtless men would hang around the neighbourhood talking and socializing!  The other man is the mayor of Guelph.

I’ve digitized that old tape and now I can watch it whenever I want to.

This video, folks, is the beginning of the Ladano story in many ways.  My dad and his saxophone were really the start of it.  The people in this video are responsible for the site you are reading today!



  1. What an awesome piece of video to have. If it makes you feel any better, my family was completely skipped over by the musical gene. My wife though is like you. Her brother has the musical gift (not a doctor, but is in the music business making a good living at it) and she has none! So, it is not uncommon for that to happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mike, you might not be able to play an instrument but you certainly can write. Your reviews and stories are very entertaining.


    1. My dad filled in some details for me. The Horticultural Society made this film. The other man in the video was the mayor of Guelph, so kind of a big deal back then. My dad wasn’t supposed to be on the film,but he was jumping around and misbehaving! So they sent him to go and play elsewhere!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great piece of video! Wish I had something like that from the past…. My sister is a musical genius too. Played piano in a jazz quartet through high school. Won a bunch of awards. She thought about making it a profession but decided to become a nuclear chemist instead. Meanwhile, I can play a few AC/DC riffs…

    Liked by 1 person

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