Last night at the hospital, Clark had two out-of-town visitors to cheer him on – Celine Peterson (Oscar Peterson’s daughter and Clark’s Goddaughter), and Josh Shpak (one of Clark’s trumpet students who is a freshman at Berklee). Celine traveled from Canada and Josh flew in from Boston. Quincy Cavers (one of Clark’s saxophone students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff- UAPB) was with us, and we all enjoyed spending some time together.
Clark was smiling a lot when we played some cuts for him from Oscar’s latest CD, and when Josh played some of Clark’s favorite tunes on his muted trumpet. I read your responses from his blogs and the recent messages that you’ve left in his Guestbook, which always makes him happy. It was truly a special evening.
When I asked him what he’d like for me to tell you on this blog, he said, “Tell them I love them, and thanks for their prayers.” He wishes that he could talk to his many friends who have called, but he needs to get proper rest.
His doctors have successfully treated many of his health challenges, and they are working on others that require more time.
It’s been a full week here in Pine Bluff, beginning with Clark’s first book release party which was sponsored by the award-winning Hampton Inn & Suites on Sunday, October 9th. One of Clark’s dear friends, Willie “The Picker” Pickens, played some incredible music on the piano, accompanied by Quincy Cavers’ beautiful saxophone serenades. The food was absolutely delicious, and the hotel staff was, as Clark would say, “just beautiful!”
There were approximately 100 people present, including twenty trumpet students from UAPB who played a tribute to Clark. I read some passages from his book, Clark – The Autobiography of Clark Terry, and later that evening when I told him that his books sold out at the celebration, he said, “Really?” It really warmed my heart to see such a big smile on his face. After I read the fabulous review about his autobiography from JazzTimes magazine, his smile was even bigger!
Blessings to you all,