This story was originally posted on HolyCoast.com in September 2007.
Once a week I spend 3 or 4 hours on the golf course to clear the cobwebs out and to get some exercise honing my golf skills. On Thursday afternoon (9-13-07) I visited a favorite course, David L. Baker Executive Golf Course in Fountain Valley. I used to have a regular game with a friend of many years but we haven't been playing for a few weeks.
So I join anyone who is available or go out by myself if the course isn't too busy. It was really busy Thursday and I was teamed up with a grandfather and his grandson. We said our usual "hellos" and started play. The grandfather was from the San Francisco area and was visiting his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. They decided to go out for a game of golf on a very nice day.
As we traveled around the various holes we had time to wait and engaged in conversation. I mentioned I have four grandchildren and one was in college. It was in his area of the state and he knows the college well. I mentioned she was involved in music and plays the flute, piccolo, and Irish Whistle. She is now learning the piano in college. The grandfather's name is Joe Linn and he has been in music all his life as a quartet member, church music arranger, and has a singing group called "The Joe Linn Trio". We were off and running on what each of us has been doing for our entire lives.
I mentioned I was a founding member of The Watchmen Gospel Quartet and sang with them for 11 years turning my bass singing part over to my son, Rick, who held it for 8 years before starting his own group - Crimson River Quartet. I've been involved in choral music for many years up to 1998 and have sung solos, duets, trios, quartets, ensembles, choirs, and was for eighteen months involved with a semi-professional chorale called Masterworks Chorale. Joe's involvement kind of followed the same pattern. He was 14 and I was 15 when each of us sang in our first quartet.
We started to find common ground and even people we both knew. Joe asked where I attend church and I menioned Saddleback Valley Community Church. Even though 20,000 attend there every weekend, he asked if I knew his son-in-law, Tim Davis. I know who Tim is and I have talked to him a couple of times but Tim wouldn't know who I was. Might recognize me if he saw me but not by name. Tim works with the music department of the church and specializes in vocal training for specials. He sometimes leads the singing. He has a great voice and does a fine job leading the contemporary songs that dominate the music program. The grandson I played golf with is Tim's son, Christian, age 10.
We found another connection with Bob Krogstad who arranged and produced a Christmas CD called "A Christmas Celebration". He knew Mr. Krogstad. I worked on the CD in a group called "Long Beach Festival Singers" that became "Masterworks Chorale" led by Ron Colvard.
I said the Watchmen Quartet started at the Garden Grove Church of the Nazarene. He said he has done a lot of church music arranging for Lillenas Publishing Company of Kansas City which is the music company sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene. Well, I asked if in his dealings with Lillenas he has met Harlan Moore who had a very responsible position with that company. Joe said he had been with Harlan many times and knew him very well. Harlan is my cousin. His dad was my "dad" for the last three years of high school in Kansas City.
I was able to share with Joe that Harlan's wife, Barbi, was having surgery the next day for a brain tumor that has returned after five years. Joe also knew Barbi and will keep her in his prayers for healing and recovery. Joe had cancer surgery two years ago and could understand what Barbi is going through.
Joe Linn was here to help his son-in-law arrange and produce a personal CD. Joe is an Executive Pastor in his community church in the Bay Area.
Small World - but connected.
UPDATE: I have Tim Davis' CD that Joe worked on and it is great. It is a Christmas solo album titled "Christmas Dreaming". You can check it out on http://www.timdavischristmas.com/ .