song for my father


Back in the 1970s my father — who was known as “the flute man” — used to make flutes (and other instruments) out of bamboo and sell them in San Francisco, where we lived at the time.  Recently, I was given an amazing cache of old photographs, including this series of my father — most likely taken by my mother — in the process of making one of his flutes.

July 11th is my father’s birthday, and this year seems to me to feel more significant than usual since, with the recent death of my dad’s sister Margie, the last of the St. Joseph DeVores of my father’s generation have passed on.  I hope they’re all celebrating together – Dale, Glen, Margie, and Darrell — jawing it up in a version of the St. Joseph that they knew as kids.

In celebration of my dad’s birthday, here’s a poem, called “Darrell DeVore, the Music Man,” written by Maureen Hurley:

Darrell DeVore, the Music Man,
dressed in homespun vest and knitted cap
of greys and blues verging on turquoise,
shot through with violet and hunter’s green,
was like a tall heron or an exotic species of crane,
with his tribal sack covered in strange signs
filled with bamboo flutes slung on his back,
said he was hunting the elusive rare notes
and wave forms on country backroads,
and so he walked everywhere, listening.
The wind was his aeolean harp,
his orchestral score, his latest critic.

2 Responses to “song for my father”

  1. 1 ani


  2. 2 karen hess

    These photos and the poem are so beautiful, I can see him as if I am walking next to him.

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