Inside the Mind of Isadora

Hobbies Emerge from Odd Places


Clarinet 2.web

Hobbies Emerge from Odd Places

A hobby is an activity or an interest that creates relaxation or pleasure. It’s important to have a distraction from our regular responsibilities. It helps us unwind. We get to focus on something enjoyable or amusing in our leisure time.

There are people who collect stamps or coins; others might like woodcarving. Women enjoy fabric crafts such as quilting or yarn crafts like knitting and crocheting. Hobbies come about in various ways. Clarinet playing is a hobby my husband continues to take pleasure in and has enjoyed for many years. He finds the fingering helps with his dexterity. He feels it mentally challenging and calming. This is the story of how he was introduced to this instrument.

When he was a young boy, growing up in an impoverished Brooklyn ghetto, he was fortunate to have a neighbor who was a retired professional clarinet player. Mr. Rosenbaum, in his youth, had played with the philharmonic orchestra in New York City. It was ironic that he should find himself in an all Latin very poor neighborhood.

All of the tenement buildings in the neighborhood were 6 stories high with 4 apartments on each floor. If you weren’t familiar with the area you would assume it was some type of confinement camp. The buildings were a dreary chalk grey.

It was a struggle for Mr. Rosenbaum to climb up and down the concrete stairs to do his errands. Like many elderly people, he did without many things because of it. He was in his late 70’s. He was in need of help.
One day, he saw this 7 year old boy playing a game of skully on the sidewalk.

tumblr_ltp5j3v0oq1qewdf8o1_400Skully (also called skelly, skelsy, skellzies, scully, tops or caps) is a children’s game played on the streets of New York City and other urban areas. Sketched on the street usually in chalk, a skully board allows a game for two to six players. A sidewalk is sometimes used, offering greater protection from vehicular traffic; however, the asphalt on a typical city street is smoother and provides better game play than a bumpy cement sidewalk. Information from Wikipedia

Mr. Rosenbaum approached the boy and asked if he’d like to learn to play the clarinet.

(Obviously, this was before – Stranger Danger – or – Never Talk to Strangers)

“What’s a clarinet?” the boy asked.

The thought that he could share his love for this instrument with a boy who had so little provoked a spark in Mr. Rosenbaum. A smile came across his face as he sat down on a concrete step to explain to him what it was. He shared his love for this instrument. He explained that with it he could be happy even if no one was around to hear him play.

This boy who always needed to be occupied and loved challenges agreed to run errands for Mr. Rosenbaum in exchange for clarinet lessons. The boy’s mother was surprised that this professional musician would share his talent with her son. They weren’t able to afford an instrument. His lessons were his only means of practicing. He joined band several years later in grade school. Finally, he was able to have a clarinet to enjoy at home. He picked up an interest in other instruments along the way and became proficient in trumpet, cornet and saxophone.

Mr. Rosenbaum had exposed him to classical music. The impact of their brief encounter influenced his love for all types of music but in time his love of jazz rose to the top as his favorite.

The boy who was now turning into a young man continued to run errands for Mr. Rosenbaum until he was taken away to a nursing home. He never saw him again.

A man in need shared his gift of music and showed an underprivileged boy that in helping others you can change a life. *****

Copyright 2014©written and photography by Isadora

***** The boy later saved a child from a gunman and became the highest decorated policeman in the NYPD in 1994. He was awarded the Medal of Valor by Mayor Abe Beam.
***** I am working on his memoir.


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Butterfly Mind
Creative Nonfiction by Andrea Badgley

Author: Inside the Mind of Isadora

Intriguing, sensitive, mysterious, loving, artistic and crackling with excitement for life is a pretty good description of who I am. I just retired from the world of art where I sold my Artfully Designed Handmade Jewelry for 28 years; although, art will always be a part of who I am no matter what venue I choose to express it in.

33 thoughts on “Hobbies Emerge from Odd Places

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  3. What a beautiful (and well told) story. I had chills reading that. Isn’t it amazing how small things can make such a huge difference to someone’s life?


    • Everyone of us touches another’s life even if we don’t always get to know about it. My husband never got to tell him how much of a difference he made in his life. It’s a memory he treasures and is reminded of each time he picks up his clarinet.
      Thanks for reading it. Your comment is heartfelt and touching.
      Isadora xo


  4. Hello! Feel free to watch my new photo album. I greet and wish you a beautiful weekend!


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  7. I just love that clarinet Issy and you’ve featured it so well! Great post and share hon. Love it! 😀 *hugs*


  8. Thank you, dear Isadora, for sharing with us this wonderful story. It’s great when there is someone who supports and opens new horizons for knowledge. Sometimes a hobby can get performance and even to become a grandmaster.
    Have a wonderful day, Isadora. Hugs, Ştefania! 🙂


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  11. Thanks for sharing this remarkable post my friend love it 🙂


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  15. Thank you for this heartwarming story Isadora. That memoir should be worth waiting for!


  16. A wonderful story that celebrates the human capacity to give, show kindness, share inspiration through words, actions and yes, music. It shows we can make a difference to someone . Young, old, rich, poor, no limits to how much we can give back if our hearts are open for it. Wonderful post. Best of blessings to you & your family.


    • A helping hand to someone in need can give us far more satisfaction than we can
      imagine. We never know when our kindness will change the direction of a persons life.
      The greater gift is in giving.
      Thank IT … I’m pleased you found this story inspiring and touching.


  17. I can relate to this story, except my instrument happens to be guitar. Very good for finger and arthritis, helps keep it at bay.. 😉 Lovely story.


  18. Children can learn so much from the elders if only things were as thye should be. This is wonderful Issy, Al’s memoir will be quite something


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  20. what a story Isadora…and it makes me sad that the world is no longer considered safe so that a friendship like that can form these days…the man would be arrested for talking to a kid


    • It is a very different world … isn’t it? Sometimes, I think it might have
      always been this way but we just didn’t hear about it.
      I think it’s important to have mentors to help us learn something that could
      change our life.
      Thanks, Jo. I always appreciate and enjoy your visits and comments.
      ~~~~ : – )


      • I was talking to a friend about growing up. How she…and I for that matter would disappear after school. Our parents would set a time to be home…you had a watch…so no excuses for being late…and you would be off for hours. You had to look out for yourself, learn how to get out of trouble yourself. These days thank goodness in New Zealand, at least rural NZ, you still see some of that, but it is fast disappearing until kids are on such a tight leash. Fear has done that. And I wonder sometimes, has what happens to children these days actually gotten worse, or are we just hearing about it now.


        • I wasn’t allowed to go out further than my front 8 x 8 gated area in front of our home.
          My mother was mentally ill and instilled tremdendous fear in us. But, we were repremanded if we didn’t speak to whatever adult was addressing us. They considered it derespectful.
          My husband had the same parameters as you did. Go play but be home at a certain time or be within the shouting level of her voice. And, he lived in a bad neighborhood.
          I lived in what would be called a middle class neighborhood of well-groomed homes. Fear was with me for many years when I did venture into the world.
          I think the kids growing up now will have that or be so innocent that they will get involved with something they may not be able to handle.
          Life is ever changing. It isn’t always for the better.
          Thanks for the dialog, Jo. It’s a huge subject with so many twists and opinions and questions.
          Isadora ~~~~ : – ) ~~~~ : – ( ~~~~ : – O


  21. What a lovely and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.


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