Charles Ives' memory lives on in Rochester

Dear Reader,

No word yet on the fate of the Charles Ives house.  But the last blog post prompted this interesting response from Classical 91.5 listener David Kirkpatrick.

My thanks to David for writing.



Thanks for posting to Facebook about the Charles Ives house.

My father (John Kirkpatrick) was a certifiable Ives NUT.  No, I'll call him an enthusiast.  His mania for Ives's Concord Sonata was a major thorn between us, because he played and practiced is endlessly, while I much prefer Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Glenn Miller.

Anyway, when I was a little boy, he would take me up to "Charlie's" place, where I met his wife Harmony, and would play with a grandson (?) Charles Ives Tyler, who the family called CIT ("kit") from his initials.  CIT and his mother would stay on the same property with Charlie's house in a little cabin on the left as you go in the driveway.  

Besides the old house, there was also a barn, where my father would spend endless hours poring over scraps of manuscripts which Charlie had cut up with scissors when he didn't like how they were progressing.  I could never understand Ives's music, and I could never understand Dad's obsession with it.  

Ives was long gone when these events I am relating happened, probably in mid-1950s when I was 8 or 10.  My father would tell me that when I was 1 or 2, Charlie was still alive, and on one occasion I was taken to meet him, and he plunked me down on his knee, laughed heartily with sparkling eyes, and boomed, "Well, how's our little David?"  I immediately screamed and struggled to get away from him.  I remember none of this, of course.

Anyway, thanks again for stirring some old memories!