We are honored to share this heartfelt letter to the Illinois District from 2013 ABE recipient Frank Fabian. -- Ed.
It’s a Wonderful Life
It is indeed a "Rare Gift" to be given the opportunity to see how many people have been affected by your life. I was given that opportunity this weekend when I was presented the 2013 ABE Award. So many people came up to me and congratulated me. Many were people who also influenced my life and many whom I often did not recognize.
Some people were grateful for the abbreviated thank you I gave. Truth of the matter is that I was afraid I would start crying.
I even had my own "Clarence". John Q. Morris, the bass of my quartet Fermata d'Aria, has consistently reminded me from the very first convention we attended together of how many lives were impacted by my existence. I usually shrugged it off but it was really brought home this weekend.
There have been so many people who have impacted my life that the list would be too long to itemize completely. There are a few people who should be mentioned to whom I am very grateful.
Dick Kingdon mentioned my family in his presentation and it all began there with my grandmother, Mother and Dad, and brother Dick all encouraging me to sing and harmonize at a young age. One of my grade school teachers, Sister May Miriam, taught choir in fifth grade. In high school I had John Stephens my chorus director.
In the barbershop world there was Bob Vedder, the founder of the Beverly Hills Chapter. Jack Baird was a big influence, George Peters, Roy and Evelyn Frisby, Jay Giallombardo, Buzz and Bob Haeger, Jarmela Speta, Frank Vechiola, Charlie Wilcox, Bob Squires, Gerry Carroll. The list could go on and on.
But I really do have two special Heroes:
Fred King is probably my all time hero, and in Illinois it is Tom Woodall who was a big inspiration to me and he probably isn’t even aware of it. Now I get a chance to say, "Thanks, Tom, for being a role model for me."
Lastly, but not least, I want to thank my wife for being with me for 57 years and encouraging me to keep singing. She has never protested about the times she had to spend alone with the kids while I was out performing or rehearsing. She was not able to be with me for the presentation due to health restrictions but it was videoed for her to see and I thank you for that as well.
As to those whom I have influenced, you know who you are.
I thank you all for being a part of my life, a very large part.
In closing I wish you all continued Harmony. A tag I wanted to share has become my motto and mantra.
Please remember me when you sing it. Perhaps we can even sing it together sometime.