With the passing of my mother-in-law, Delores Voigt, I think about her love of music and the swing era of the 1940s.

In 2005 and 2006 we took Delores to the Walker casino to see performances by the Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller bands.

These bands, although not the original members from the swing era, performed just like their predecessors.

For Delores, this was the type of music she dearly loved.

I thought of our trips to Walker after Delores, 95, passed away on Nov. 20. I’ll think of her love of the Dorsey and Miller bands during her funeral today, Dec. 8.

She was born on July 11, 1923, and was a year older than George H.W. Bush who was born June 12, 1924, and who died on Nov. 30 this year.

Dorsey was a jazz trombonist, composer, conductor and band leader. He was best known as the “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing” because of his smooth trombone playing.

He was the younger brother of band leader Jimmy Dorsey. Some of his hit songs included “Lullaby of Broadway” and “Opus One” in addition to his biggest hit single, “I’ll Never Smile Again.”

Miller’s recordings included “In the Mood” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” in addition to “Moonlight Serenade” and “A String of Pearls.”

While he was traveling to entertain troops in France during World War II, Miller’s aircraft disappeared over the English Channel. He was only 40 when he died in 1944.

Several years ago we also took Delores to see a performance of “All Night Strut” at M State, Fergus Falls. This performance, which she dearly loved, was filled with jazz, blues and other music from the 1940s.

I became a fan myself of the music from this era. I agree with others who say this music “fills the inner soul.”

George H.W. Bush campaigned for Langen in Moorhead in 1968

Former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30, was in Moorhead 50 years ago to campaign for Minnesota Seventh District Congressman Odin Langen whose opponent was Bob Bergland.

Langen won re-election but lost to Bergland two years later, in 1970.

Back then Bush, from Texas, was a close friend of Langen and a fellow member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Glad to have you here, George,” was the greeting that Langen gave to Bush on his arrival in Moorhead in November 1968, a half century ago.

In a photograph that appeared in the Moorhead Valley Times, Langen pinned one of his campaign buttons on Bush’s lapel at Hector Airport in Fargo.

This photo was part of a “Election Morning Extra” of the Valley Times, of which I was a contributing reporter while at Moorhead State College. I interviewed Bergland on election night, but never met Bush.

Few people surmised that Bush would rise in national prominence, becoming vice president and then president of the United States.

I’m like most Americans who will remember Bush as a good man, good public servant and good family man.

“Hang Time” a good read

about Laker star Baylor

I just completed reading a 2018 book co-authored by former Minneapolis Lakers basketball star Elgin Baylor who played a benefit basketball game in Fergus Falls in April 1960.

With the help of researcher Alan Eisenstock, the book took four years to complete.

It starts with Baylor’s growing up years in Washington, D.C., then goes to his college days at Seattle University, his NBA days with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1959 and 1960 and then his years with the Lakers in Los Angeles after the team moved there in 1960.

“I was a Laker when the name actually made sense,” Baylor said. “Minnesota, Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. L.A. is known for a lot of things, but lakes are not one of them.”

In his book, Baylor said he sees his life story as one of survival and triumph.

Tom Hintgen is a longtime Daily Journal columnist. His column appears Saturdays.

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