[Dixielandjazz] OKOM and Hungary

dingle at baldwin-net.com dingle at baldwin-net.com
Tue Oct 31 09:12:57 PST 2006

Schnabbels at aol.com wrote:

>What follows is a little self-indulgent which, if you think about it, happens 
>every now and then on DJML anyway. So bear with me (and I trust you can still 
>find your delete button).
>So here it goes:
>This coming Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the brutal suppression of 
>the uprising by the Hungarians against the communist regime. It happened on 
>November 4, 1956, a Sunday. Phosphor grenades rained on Budapest. Almost 2800 
>died. On the other hand, some 200,000 were able to flee to western Europe, 
>because to borders were temporarily unguarded. NATO sat on its hands, not willing 
>to confront the Warsaw Pacr and risking WWIII.
>Now, you may well ask, what has this to do with OKOM?
>It was on that very same Sunday that I received my first trombone. It was a 
>typical Dutch fall day: grey skies, rainy and windy. I had just turned 16 and 
>had expressed the wish to play the trombone. My Mom had recently been divorced, 
>money was scarce and she worked very, very hard to provide for me and my 
>younger sister. What she did was to contact an old highschool buddy who happened 
>to be a recording engineer for Phonogram (Philips) and thus well-versed in the 
>music world. He located a horn for me which we I picked up on that very same 
>fateful Sunday in November, 1956. It was a Huettl, made, ironically in what was 
>then Chechoslovakia, a country which lateron would have its own problem with 
>the Soviet Union. The horn was nickel plated and weighed a ton, but I did not 
>know any better and was absolutely extatic. Subsequently, I had the privilege 
>of receiving lessons from Anne Bijlsma, first seat trombone of the The Hague 
>Philharmonic. (BTW, Anne, pronounced "oHne, is a Frisian boy's name; he had the 
>good sense of naming his son Anner, who became a world-reknowned baroque 
>I joined my first OKOM band a year later and have been playing ever since. In 
>Holland, in Germany and, later in Chicago, and now in Arizona. Am looking 
>forward to the week-end after next (November 9-12) when we have our Festival 
>If you have read this far, thanks for your indulgence. At times one just has 
>to share moments in history that are important to you, especially when you are 
>getting older.
>Robert van der Plas
>Scottsdale, AZ
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
I at the USAF base at Goose Bay Labrador -- A SAC base -- at the time 
that this situation was heating up. This is a refueling center for B-52's
and they were in the air for days, being refueled constantly as they 
awaited word whether to stand down or go over the Arctic circle to 
Russia in case this thing got even more ugly. The constant sound of take 
off sand landings for the refueling tankers keeping the B-52's  ithe air 
(they flew with double crews just circling in the air as they waited) 
seemed to never end. But thank goodness it did and they stood down. Even 
more scary was that an incident in the Suez Canal had taken place in the 
same general time and that looked like some Arab-Isaeli war situation 
was ready to pop.
That pre-Thanksgiving time made me thankful that the worst didn't 
happen, but had it gone bad there would have been some ugly firecrackers 
the world would have had to contend with.
Don Ingle

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