Yesterday I played a recital at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. It was great fun - the piano was good, the audience attentive, appreciative, and very enthusiastic. I had a free day today before flying back to New England tomorrow, so I decided to spend some of it exploring the museum and library.
I was born in 1980, so by the time I knew what was going on in the political world, Richard Nixon was pretty much off the radar, and as a result I must admit that my knowledge about him was pretty bare bones. Walking around the grounds today was a fascinating experience. It seems the Watergate scandal cast an almost unfairly impenetrable shadow over his life. The differences between the highs and lows of his life are incredible - and if there ever was a symbol for fighting back from the brink, it's Nixon. His ability to pick up the pieces and rebuild is inspiring. Whatever people's thoughts are about his life, work, or views, you have to admit - the man had amazing fortitude.
He also was a very hard worker - something that I admire, as this is an essential quality to be successful in the musical world. In fact, he studied so hard in law school that his friends gave him the nickname "Iron Butt". You can figure out why.
Not only this, but he was a huge lover of music - and who knew - he even wrote a piano concerto!