[Dixielandjazz] Report from LaCrosse

JimDBB at aol.com JimDBB at aol.com
Mon Apr 28 14:34:29 PDT 2003

To those who have inquired as to my whereabouts, I have moved to La Crosse, 
Wisconsin.  I grew up in Sparta, about 25 miles from here.  I have two 
sisters here and for the present I am staying with them, alternately.

It is very serene and dull here.  Very little jazz here and no cults ( I was 
involved in anti-cult work).  What is one to do?  No traffic congestion 
either and I have an owl that awakes me every morning. what a neat sound that 
is.  I haven't heard an owl in years and years so I didn't recognize the 
sound at first.

The weather is near perfect now. 

My brother-in-law has wired the house with speakers everywhere and outdoors 
as well.  He is partial to my own recordings and so they follow me around the 
house.  I have heard the original"Chicago" soundtrack now about 25 times.  
And I'm not tired of it, surprisingly.  It is a great soundtrack and the 
1920s orchestrations are superb.  I can't imagine that the movie soundtrack 
can surpass the original.

There is a nice Jazz Society here that puts on events and an annual Jazz Fest 
in August.  If you have never been here for it, I recommend it.  La Crosse is 
a nice town and the Fest is right near downtown.  My band played here a 
number of times and we always had a great time. An old friend that I was in 
the service with used to come everytime I played in the La Crosse Fest.  
Frank filipczak lived in MInneapolis and was a trombonist.  We were both in 
the 3rd. Marine Division Band in Japan in 1954.  I called him up and got his 
brother who informed me that Frank had died in feb.  What a blow.  

My old friend Al Townsend is playing a Jazz Society event this Sunday at the 
Freight House with his Wonderful World Jazz Band.

I took a cruise through my old home town of Sparta.  the Country 
Seat and a farming town.  I found out that my High School girl friend, 
Shirley Isensee had died recently. That took me back.  Shirley and I were in 
the High School band together.  The big event of the year for the band was 
the regional band contest in La Crosse.  These were thrilling events 
culminating in a parade through downtown.  Viroqua always had the best band 
and always won first place.  Pianist Bob HIrsch was in that Viroqua HS Band 
at the same time but we didn't know each other till later.

The first time that I played in the regional band contest was in 6th or 7th 
grade.  I was a drummer and I played a solo and won first place.

Well, forgive me for my little trip down memory lane.

Jim Beebe

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