Walking down the street, I couldn't remember which house it was, but suddenly I heard the familiar trombone and it guided me to my destination.
Students of Harold "Hal" E. Wetherwax had made a circle around the grand piano in the living room and they were remembering their teacher by playing lively music after the morning funeral. The piece was "Sunny."
Wetherwax passed away on July 18. Family members, including his wife, Virginia, and daughter Leslie were seated around the room.
The musicians were Hal's three sons — Michael (piano), Pete (guitar), and Randy, (drums) Randy's son Jules (bongos), Tom DiLiberto (saxophone), Keith Myatt (trumpet), Rob Rudolph (trombone) and vocalist Andrea Robinson.
They are a sliver of the legacy left by Wetherwax. Hundreds of his former students continue to play professionally or just for enjoyment.
Wetherwax moved to Burbank as a teen and attended Burroughs Junior High and Burbank High School, graduating among the Class of 1942. He was vice president of the student body, yell leader and played in the school swing band, concert band and orchestra and sang in the a cappella choir.