The 2016 Midwinter Convention in Reno had many magical moments for me. One of the most memorable came during the Senior Quartet competition. I was sitting next to a long-time member from the Far West District and his wife. I was at Bill's right and his wife next to his wheelchair on the left. Quartet number seven began their ballad. The introduction was not so familiar, as is the case with many Berlin songs. But I knew it from the Northwest Sound repertoire of 2009. It was "Always", the song three of my chorus buddies (Paul Renhard, Bob Schmitt, Danny Tangerone) and I had sung to my late wife at our 50th anniversary party that year.

I was humming along, at least in my head. Then they got to the chorus: "I'll be loving you, Always..." Out of the corner of my eye I detected movement on my left. I looked down just in time to see Bill's wife slide her right hand off her lap and on to Bill's leg, where it stayed through the tag. I was undone by this simple act. This is what our hobby is about, I thought, moving people. In this case moving Bill's wife, right in the middle of a few thousand people and right in the middle of a performance, to say in one simple quiet gesture: "I love you Bill. I'm here for you...always".

Don't you love it when music brings you to tears?

Dick Aitkins, Currently non-singing member: Northwest Sound and Kitsap Chordsmen

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