LETTERS FROM PORT CHICAGO
(A MUSICAL PLAY)
(All written between 2005 and 2012 with voices and instruments mainly, in electronic form.)
Flamboyant narcissist and family clown Uncle Henry has agreed to drive Richard to the train station. As usual, he's late, most likely trying to draw attention to himself, as family and friends nervously await his "grand entrance."
An a cappella choral work. In the play, Richard's uncle, Dwight Ware, a highly respected Methodist Minister in North Carolina, wrote this prayer for family and friends to read as Richard is sent off to war The prayer itself was actually written by the Rev. Nancy Allison.
Sung by Richard and his commanding officer, Frank Sorver. When Richard reported for duty at Port Chicago, he told Sorver that he knew nothing about loading ammunition onto ships. Apparently Sorver told him just to "use your head."
An entire scene, with music and spoken dialogue, depicting the chaotic and dangerous conditions at the Port Chicago ammunition loading dock, including officers taking bets on whose division could load the most ammunition, Much of the material for this scene (song) was taken from my father's unfinished novel, Port Chicago Story.
Perhaps my all-time best melody. A love song, sung by Bob White and his wife, Inez. Bob, tragically, was killed during the Port Chicago explosion.
An a cappella choral work. A slightly modified version of "Into Your Hands," composed originally as part of "Two Sacred Songs." Sung by all at Bob White's gravesite. The original version was sung at several churches, including National Cathedral, and Piccolo Spoleto, and was also sung at my father's funeral.