By Annette Dreitzer Phillips
What can I say about having had the best dad ever? That we spent quality time together, had a lot in common and he was taken from us way too soon? I guess because I was an only child, my father truly doted on me, and yes, I was spoiled. But we had so much fun together, and I will always cherish those days. He had a fantastic sense of humor and I will never forget how much he made me laugh. On the serious side, he was one of the most honest people I have ever met with a strong sense of morals and principles. Perhaps that is one of the reasons he is still so admired and fondly remembered 20 years after his passing.
When I was growing up, I didnít think of him as anything but my dad. Of course, he was special to me, but I didnít realize at that time, how many other lives he had touched and influenced besides mine. It was only in college, when I began to study music in earnest that I began to understand the magnitude of his musical genius. He could listen to a recording and write every single part for a horn line from memory; that always amazed me and I was in awe of his talent.
Always curious about new technology, my dad had just gotten a state-of-the-art VCR and was about to add the video camera when he died in February, 1984. He was very much looking forward to filming his beloved drum corps when they took to the field that summer. Sadly, he never got the opportunity to do so. I know that he would have been very interested in the internet, and, in particular, the Brassmen website. He was very sad when the corps disbanded and Iím sure he would be happy to see that everyone can still keep in touch through this medium.
He missed out on so much, but his 56 years were filled with joy and fulfillment, because he was lucky enough to be working at something he truly loved and had a passion for. I miss him more than words can say and not a day has gone by since he left us that I havenít thought about him. At his funeral, that cold day in February, too stunned to recall many details, one thing in particular stands out. Some girls from St. Ignatius came over just as his coffin was about to be lowered into the ground, and placed a red corps cowboy hat right on top; the hat we wore to win many championships would now be with my father for eternity. That gesture spoke volumes about the love and admiration that people had for him.
On behalf of myself, my husband, Ken, and my mother, Florence Dreitzer, I would sincerely like to thank everyone who took part in creating this wonderful website, and for keeping my fatherís memory alive. All of you have insured his legacy, and he will never be forgotten. For that, we are extremely grateful.