Some time after I had started piano lessons at age 7, my mother asked my sister Karen, five years my senior, if she wanted to take lessons. Karen responded, “Why would a lawyer need to know how to play piano?” Karen was a huge Perry Mason fan, and lawyering was her goal at that point in her life. She ended up with a degree in journalism and lost the zeal along the way for having a law practice, but she remains a Mason fan, knowing all the TV episodes, as well as collecting the Erle Stanley Gardner novels. (By the way, Karen was writing and telling stories long before that journalism degree. She’s still writing and telling stories at her blog and other venues.)
I often spend the evening watching episodes of Perry Mason. I enjoy them for the stories, the settings, for recognizing actors in their early years guesting on an episode, and just for the good old style of television production, but mostly they make me feel near my big sister. I’ve been particularly fascinated recently with that theme music, so I took on the task of learning an arrangement of it to share for Karen’s special day.
Happy Birthday to the one who taught me to love the best in music, literature, and drama. And for always being there for me when I’ve got questions about Perry, or Andy, or John, or any stock cast member of old movies and TV. You are the best.