Chapter 25 1963 - I-Day revealed

I entered his house and threw his radio on the sofa. Juliette noticed that I’s tears were ready to break forth, and stopped to comfort him.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” she asked.

“The guys don’t want to play with me,” he complained. “I don’t understand!”

“Well, they don’t know what a good friend they have in you,” she assured him. “They don’t know how special you are.”

Henry looked up from his newspaper, wondering where Juliette was going to go with this. Juliette met his eyes. “Henry, I think it’s time.”

Henry nodded and went over to the closet, he pulled a box down from the top shelf, and I got all excited again. “Another present!” he exclaimed.

“Well, yes… and no” his mother said cryptically.

In the box were newspapers from December 5, 1953. The headline read “Nation Celebrates I-Day.”

“Darling, do you see this headline?”

“Yeah, so what? It’s I-Day. We celebrate every year,” I replied.

“There’s more to it than you realize,” she said. “It’s called I-Day because of you!”


“That’s right,” she continued and she and Henry began pulling mementos from the box from that first celebration. I saw pictures of some bald guy, some hairy guy and some really old guy. They were all looking at a tiny baby. “That’s you!”

“Who are those old men?” I asked.

“We came to know them as Ike, Bert and Chuck. They were very important at the time.”

“Why are they there?” he prodded.

“They brought you some special gifts in honor of your birth, ten years ago,” Henry answered. He picked up a framed certificate and showed it to I.

“Here’s the Presidential Proclamation establishing I-Day as a national holiday.” He reached into the box again, and here’s your Honorary Doctorate degree from the University.

“And this,” Juliette pulled out sheets of paper in a sweep of majesty. “This is your destiny!”

“A little melodramatic, don’t you think?” offered Henry.

“You remember what he told us, ‘Don’t do anything with them for at least ten years’” she added.

Juliette handed I the paper. “What is it?” he asked.

“It’s music! It’s a special piece by a famous composer that was given to you. It’s never been performed anywhere!”

“What am I supposed to do with it?” as he looked it over. It didn’t make a lot of sense to him.

Henry and Juliette glanced at each other. “Chuck didn’t say, and now he’s gone” she said wistfully. “He never reveled the secret. But I think you were meant to study it. It’s important. He said as a result your name would be shouted from hills and steeples.”

She turned to Henry, “Come to think of it, he was a bit of an odd duck.”

I was a bit confused with all this new information, something he didn’t expect on his birthday, but the implications of it began to set in. Maybe he was meant for greatness!

I picked up his radio and put it in the box with everything else. He took it into his room and looked again at the newspapers, the certificate, the degree, the sheet music. He turned on his radio and began to hum along with the song. Suddenly, his mood began to brighten as he thought: “I’ve discovered a way to help me get through the day. Music!

I thought some more, “I’d go stark-raving mad if I never had music.” He imagined himself outside.

It would sound so sweet with my radio to my ear, blasting out loud!” he imagined.

“The beat won’t stop, and I will be at the top of the mountain hearing the bells and people shouting out my name!” he exclaimed out loud.

He looked again the Doctorate, “You can have your equations” and then at the Presidential Proclamation, “and the power of the nations. Music is my life! It will take me away from it all, and I’ll never look back!”

He glanced out the window and saw his so-called friends playing. “With those other guys gone, I’ll go on and leave them all behind. I’ll be famous!”

“I’ll play that guitar just like guys on the radio. He turned it up more, “I’ll be a star. I’m already famous! Everyone will know my name!”

“I’ll turn it up and blast the crowd, my records will sell millions, and I’ll retire when I’m 25. My music will go on forever.”

“Yes,” he declared prophetically, “Music will be my life!”