Jazzed About Handy
I knew John Handy when we were both students at SF State in the early 1960s. I was enamored of his music and he needed help with his French. We used to meet regularly for these tutoring sessions but it became a rather one-way discussion, as he much preferred music to French.
Maud Elizabeth Johnson B.A., '66 Benissa, Spain
John Handy was playing in a small, forgettable coffee shop on Stanyan Street when I first heard him play indoors during the early 1960s. Before that night, I had heard him only in passing on campus. I had taken a young lady to the coffee shop with me and, after a few sets, she was ready to leave. She didn't like jazz. Suddenly, Handy played a soulful piece that mesmerized me, just nailed me to my chair. I remember how his music made me feel: good, mellow, "in" and a whole bunch more. I think my date left sometime during Handy's thrilling piece; I didn't notice. I don't remember the name of that composition, but to this day, I remember Handy's sound, his style and how his music made me feel. Thank you for your cover story on this gifted musician. I'm happy to see him get the recognition he has earned.
John J. Lesjack B.A., '65 Santa Rosa
As one of the nation's foremost jazz musicians, John Handy has been entertaining and inspiring audiences and young musicians alike for decades. The excellent cover story about John in a recent edition of SF State Magazine captured the man and his music and helped the reader appreciate what a unique set of experiences John brings to his craft. I recently had the pleasure of attending John's 75th birthday celebration, a party that also launched the John Handy Scholarship in Jazz Studies for SF State students pursuing a career in Jazz Studies. We frequently fail to appropriately recognize our truly great national treasures, especially in the performing arts. SF State's special day for one of California's, and the nation's, truly wonderful jazz musicians, John Handy, and the scholarship the University has established, ensures a continuing legacy for a great musician and a really nice guy.
Bill Pierce & Elizabeth Rocklin Gainesville, Virginia
Small Ship, Big Difference
I thoroughly enjoyed the story of United States Navy Sailor Bill Mason and the other "squids" of the Landing Craft Support vessels, the Mighty Midgets. All the men and women of our United States Armed Forces, warrior/heroes one and all, have a million untold stories, of honor, duty, bravery and heroism. I appreciate the SF State Magazine reminding us of the price paid for the freedom we enjoy today.
Greg James attended '69 Daly City
I have been a fan of SF State Magazine for a long time but want to tell you I think your fall/winter edition was exceptional. From recycling to mountain climbing, wheelchair design, photography inventions, science awards, wonderful musicians and a new novelist -- what an eclectic series of interesting articles. Your magazine reminds me of how much our wonderful and diverse SF State contributes to our communities and has spurred me to make a long overdue contribution. Thank you for your work to make SF State Magazine so relevant to our many lives.
Judith Holm B.A., '82; M.A., '04 San Francisco
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