Teaching life lessons after graduation

UW Marching Band director Mike Leckrone had this to say at the band’s 2017 banquet:

Leckrone and his wife, Phyllis, had been together since seventh grade. They were married for 61 years. Mike has been the UW Band director for 49 years.

When Phyllis died I wrote that parents’ dying is the natural order of things. It’s also the natural order of things that husbands precede their wives in death. That is still the case even with husbands doing more traditional-wife house duties (cooking, laundry, etc.) and wives employed full-time in the workforce. The only evidence you need is a visit to a nursing home, where women outnumber men by a lot, or a look at a weekly newspaper’s obituary page, where the average age of the deceased females will exceed the average age of the deceased males.

I don’t know why that is, but perhaps males are programmed by nature to die earlier, or male behavior prompts earlier deaths. Widowers seem to have a more difficult time with widowerhood than widows with widowhood.

I’ve written a lot here about the UW Band. How does it still affect my life? I have dreams not about exams I forgot about, but about being thrown into Marching Band performances without music, uniform, drill, etc.


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