Dear friends and family,
When I think of Jan, I will always think of music and singing... And, we have our dear parents to thank for our love of music. Dad listened to good music and opera on weekends. We were exposed to all the greats: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Puccini & many more. With mother, singing all the Hymns and old favorites at the Lutheran church was wonderful: Rock of Ages, In the Garden, Beautiful Saviour, Blessed Assurance, and on and on.
We girls had sooo much fun singing in harmony at the drop of a hat - speaking of "at the drop of a hat", I'm reminded of a trip we girls took from Denver to the family farm in Wisconsin called "The Evergreens". For some reason we had a tiny sombrero in the car and as we drove through Wyoming, whenever I would put the sombrero on my daughter, KC, we'd start to sing some western song like "Oh, bury me not, on the lone prairie" - I'd take the sombrero off - we'd abruptly stop singing - put it on - sing - take it off - we did this until we were laughing so hard our ribs ached.
Growing up we sang spontaneously - when we were doing dishes by hand, I would wash, Kira would dry, but mostly she'd put the dishes back in the sink with, "you missed a spot"; and Jan, was the Chief Executive, snapping the end of the wet dishtowel if we "slowed in production". And we sang - the Everly Brothers, "Cathi's Clown", Prudence and Patience, "By your side", and on and on. At first the 2 older girls only let me be the background sounds, like sha-boom, sha-boom, or boom, boom, but evenually I worked my way into actual singing - alto harmony.
One Christmas dad treated the family to Christmas in Taos, New Mexico: Jan & Johnny coming down from Denver; mom, dad and Cathi driving from Michigan to the University to pick me up along the way out West. It was grand. The power went out at our lodging on a regular asis; as, it did on Christmas Eve. But alas, you don't need electricity to sing... so we girls lit candles & gathered outside mom and dads room, and sang Christmas carols. One of the highlights was when Kira took the lead and sang "O Holy Night" - in French - as we 3 girls backed her up with harmony. My mother wept tears of pure joy - she just loved to hear us sing - and we know it pleased our dad as well.
These are just a few of the many joys we shared growing up - and I will remember them always, when I think of my sister Jan.
Max Lapin Farnsworth Murray