I hope that the video of Joe Connolly is able to be viewed when you get this post. I got tears in my eyes standing next to this amazing man today. If you can't see the video and are interested in seeing, send me an email and I will send to you via email. It is 24 seconds.
Yesterday, mid-afternoon, I was walking down the hallway of the main building at the Mayo Clinic, I walked past a large waiting area, there was a shiny black, baby grand, Yamaha piano. I stopped to read the schedule of the piano players. There was a card on top of the piano with the information, names and schedule times.
From behind the piano I was surprised when I heard. "I'm one of the players, I'm Joe Connolly."
The voice was clear, frail, a wise voice, a voice aged yet filled with confidence and joy. I was immediately intrigued and walked towards Joe. Joe was sitting in one of the waiting area chairs, I approached him and shook his hand.
I told him that "I was happy to meet one of the piano players" and proceeded to engage him in conversation. Shortly into the discussion he asked for my favorite song and got up and moved towards the piano bench. My heart smiled big time !
Joe sat, shuffled a bit and then the splendor, the spirit, the sweet sounds of his amazing skill and talent began. He played "Over the Rainbow," he also played an original song he wrote for the holidays. I had tears in my eyes.
I learned that Joe is a volunteer at Mayo, he played in the Army band for several years when he was much younger, he joined the Army at 17. He shared that many of the people in the community where he lives are in wheelchairs, and/or not able to walk, he is happy to get up, get out and drive to the Mayo Clinic to fulfill his volunteer duties.
Joe is 91 years young.
He is a widow, he survived is first wife, Martha Ann and his 2nd wife, Jan. He shared that he did not have children and that was one of the major reasons why he was able to dedicate his life to his love love love, music. After the army he was a member of some well known bands, said he played with Tommy Dorsey, Jr. Joe's original musical instrument, the saxophone. According to Joe, he can play most any instrument. He said "the gift of music I got from my Mother."
He gave me a business card with his contact information, the card notes that Joe has participated in over 1000 races, he was an avid runner. He normally plays on Mondays. I will be back at Mayo on Monday and I told him I would for sure come over to the lobby area and listen to his amazing piano playing.
|LOVE THE PINK BERMUDA SHORTS ! |
I was able to sign up for my primary health care in the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic system. I was visiting the Mayo facilities for routine preventive care appointments. The patient, customer experience is one of a kind. I know my Mom and Dad are both smiling in Heaven. They both trained and worked at Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota, where they originally met.