Fred Gray was a senior editor at the Associated Press and Reuters during his 27-year career in New York City. After taking early retirement in 1997 he moved to Colorado, where he worked for the Steamboat Springs “Today” newspaper before returning to his beloved Northern Michigan to report and write a bi-monthly column for the Petoskey News-Review.
I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the oldest of four siblings and son of a wonderful odd couple - Dad was an obstetrician/gynecologist from Rogersville, Tennesee, while Mom came from an old Western Michigan tanning/furniture/wholesale plumbing family. They were very respectable Methodists (though Dad started out as a southern Baptist).
Dad earned his stripes and respect for discipline in the US Army during World War II (D Day plus 10), and on his return to his adopted Michigan, devoted his life to his profession. Mom inherited her mother's talent as a concert harpist, but went through a musical rebellion at Wheaton, MA, College, and later while attending the University of Michigan School of Medical Social Work. She turned her classical piano training into a marvelous talent for picking contemporary music out of thin air entirely by ear and rendering it with a spirited left-hand stride and precise and correct chords. She did this at home on a parlor grand player piano she purchased from a wealthy aunt. I vivisected the innards of that piano, and learned which pneumatic tube provided the suction to pull down the strikers of the keyboard.
Grand Rapids, MI USA
Flowing Well Publications
Petoskey MI 49770