Dearest Heath Family (and indeed, Dearest Fenno, as I know you can hear us from your beloved stool as you continue to conduct us to this day),
I just wanted you to know how deeply touched I have been by Fenno, Carol and the Heath family. Alas I had actually forgotten how profound my YGC experience had been for me. (Surgical residency seemed to have burned out all trace of song in me). But your effect came back to me in two rather jarring moments: the first of which was during these last 3-4 days upon hearing of your final journey. The other instance was upon the death of my father in 2003. He had a love of the Brahms Requiem, and I would play it around the house while we prepared for his funeral. I poignantly remember the phrase "Holle, vo ist dein sieg" [Hell, were is thy victory] playing, and remembering Fenno's direction of that particular movement. He would simply raise his arms, spread them wide, and just let us SING! In 2003 it brought me to tears, and today, it does so again. I play it now, and just see you, spreading your arms and I just want to SING.
True, I left the world of singing after leaving Yale. But your impression upon me never did. You took me (and others like me - people who never sang, or never thought they could) and led us on a journey into a world, a tradition, and a new joy. I owe you so much. The people in my operating rooms wonder why I sing so often and so vociferously. They ain't heard nuthin' yet!
Thank you. God Speed Fenno. God Bless the entire Heath family.
Stage manager and former cross-dressing yodeller
F F Heath Jr. 12-30-1926 to 12-05-2008
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Thank you. Your letters bring us joy.
~Carol, Sarah, Lucy, Peggy, and Terry Heath