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  • When I was 19 I met one of my biggest heroes.

    While I weaved and peered from the back of an admiring crowd that wanted autographs and photo-ops, he spotted me. He said, "I see a flute player back there." In that instant, I felt like I was ten years old again.

    I talked with him about playing jazz—it's tough to start out and stay a flutist. But that's what inspired me. That's what I wanted. And he did it, he crossed all genres, from the Boston Philharmonic to straight ahead jazz and soul bands. Combining Farandole with funk. He was huge to me.

    At the end of our conversation he asked that I keep in touch, send him an .mp3 of my music.

    I said I would.

    But I never have. I didn't think I was good enough.

    The other Friday I met another of my heroes in a bar. I met him for that second time, actually, and reminded him of our first meeting three years ago. Some people call this man a digital pioneer. I know him as a storyteller, a cultural researcher, an artist. I've followed his work since my first quarter of college. This night, he was waiting for his check but I just wanted to welcome him to the neighborhood, and congratulate his new position as an EVP, for what my praise is worth. We chatted for a bit and exchanged thoughts before he needed to leave.

    He told me to keep in touch. Send him an e-mail.

    I said I would.

    And this time I did.
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