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March 9, 2007 | 2 Comments

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My son, Peter, was just 10 years old when he went away to the American Boychoir School in Princeton, NJ. It was a harrowing time for all of us. My husband and I felt it was the right thing for him, but it was not easy, especially the first year. Over spring break that year, he sat at the kitchen table with me, thinking about going back to school soon, and I saw that the tears were going to flow. "Mom," he said, "I think I need more ketchup in my diet." That was when we knew he was going to be OK.

Peter spent 3 years at the Boychoir School, sang some amazing music with some of the best symphony orchestras in the world, traveled to Japan, Denmark, Latvia and Sweden, plus all over the USA, and got a first rate academic education at the same time. Peter is 16 now, and still singing. He has thanked us for sending him to the Boychoir School, and said it was all worth it. But it was only possible because of ketchup. Thanks.

A Mom in New York

The incredible bravery of the young — it almost brings a person to tears. Somehow I just cannot fathom going away to school at the age of ten, if I think back to myself in Anoka, Minnesota, riding my bike around the gravel roads and running up and down the ravine playing soldier and listening to "Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Gang" on the radio. To uproot and live in a dormitory among other boys and all so one could sing Monteverdi and Mostaciolli and Cannelloni and Purcell and Byrd — incredible, as the French would say. Now that he's 16, he can see for himself what a good decision his parents made and how much this did for him, getting all these experiences, maturing, meeting people, but at the time, I'm sure it felt like abandonment. I'm glad ketchup could help. There are, by the way, hundreds of varieties of ketchup for future needs. Hotter, sweeter, darker, lighter. Peter may want to try variations as he gets older and faces new crises. Romance, for example. Never form a relationship with someone who can't appreciate good tomatoes and tomato by-products.


I want to ditto the ketchup - representing "a little bit of home" when my son Matthew was at American Boychoir School in 1995-1997. He was raised on PHC tapes to get him off to sleep at night and was able to introduce it to his dorm buddies as a comfort when Mom was not there for the traditional hug and kiss. He is still an avid listener today at age 21 and in fact was at the Fitzgerald for opening night and meatloaf last Fall - during the torrential rain! Children are amazing! Thanks and a big HELLO to Peter and family from New York.

Your “Guy with the red socks” always reminds me of the young car salesman who thought that he needed a “hook” for his prospective customers. He had noticed that an older salesman always wore a red bow tie and people would come back and ask for the “Guy with the red tie.” He decided that he would wear red socks until the day that a customer came in and asked for “That guy who never changes his socks.”
Bill Pike
Listening on KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska and on KAWC in Yuma, Arizona, depending upon the season.

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