"I Understand Ted's Wisdom A Little More Now"
My name is Carmen Torrise. I live south of Lancaster, PA. I was a student of Ted's in the early 1990s. Thank you for posting the photos of Ted. Everyone has Ted stories, and I have mine. I only knew him for a little over two years, but that was enough to make the kind of lifelong bond that will not diminish. I am always stuck between caring how well he played guitar and ignoring the talent to focus on his humanity. It's unlikely he would give me special treatment and be less kind to others, so I may assume he was universally kind.
Ted once told me that I was one of the few people who could track his conversations as he jumped around from chord theory to the workings of congress to a car engine. I think he may have exaggerated a bit on that one to edify me when I needed it.
We had a disagreement once over Gabe Greene. I never met him, but he was a student of Ted's. I thought that the guy ought to develop the cure for HIV or unveil some other breakthrough, since he was teaching at UCLA at 18 years old. Anyway, Ted gave me a short lecture on following one's heart. It was a long-sighted view, and mine was the short-sighted view. Later, Ted said my view had merit, but I understand Ted's wisdom a little more now.
I brought tears to Ted's eyes once by mentioning a woman that died. I said, it's a shame, because after reading her obituary in Guitar Player magazine, I said I would have liked to have met her. I did not know that Ted was a close friend to her, or I would have kept my mouth shut.
I overcome my sense of loss by thinking of the lessons I still carry. I can't add the inner voices of the chords the way I would like, but I can look at a pile of books and think, "There's still some Ted around here."
© Dale Zdenek 2007