I finally…FINALLY…got to meet Stanley. I’d heard of him and seen a few pics here and there, but quite by accident, when I was cleaning off the counter at my daughter Sarah’s house I found him peeking out from underneath Timothy’s Grade Two homework. He came with a note on pale yellow paper, inviting Timothy to send him to someone he knew who might give him an adventure. I asked Timo who he thought he would send Flat Stanley to. He immediately responded, “I’m sending him to you, Gummy.” His answer was so immediate and matter of fact that I’m sure he was not just being diplomatic and trying to make me feel like I might have any sort of adventure in my life. But if he was being diplomatic then kudos to him for having the social grace. I happily gave Stanley the seat next to me as I drove from their house in Herriman the 70 or so miles to my neck of the woods, up north here in Davis County, Utah.
I’ve been working with Mark Robinette towards an impending deadline for a recording project, so Stan and I drove directly to the studio for a recording session. A late night one. One that went till after midnight. I thought we might as well give Stan a realistic picture of the glamorous life. I’m really grateful Mark was not put off by the tag along I brought with me. Bringing extras to a recording session is groovy only for rappers and rock stars. Me, I try to keep the drama down in the studio when I’m doing a session and unless I need someone to be there, I usually fly solo. I must say Stanley was the perfect guest. We never had to ask him to be quiet when the record button was lit. He never interrupted our collaborations to ask if he could use the bathroom. He was the perfect guest. He went exactly where I suggested, and did exactly what he should, which more often than not was to just sit there and be quiet.
Why can’t more people be like Stanley?
I took a few pictures of Stanley’s first visit to the recording studio. Wanna see them?
Here’s Stanley checking out the drum set. He cleaned off his shoes before he danced on the snare.
Here’s the man checking out the keyboard we were composing on.
And here he is strumming each and every stringed instrument in the place. (It took him quite a while.)
Stanley sat like a real gentleman while I sang. This project involves a lot of children’s music for the Clytie Adams Dance Recital that’s coming up in June. I think he really liked those kids songs, and I could sense he really wanted to try singing one himself. So after I finished recording Teddy Bears Picnic I turned the mic over to him. He didn’t sing very loud. He was kind of shy.
But I think he had fun.
I'm really happy that Timo wanted Stanley to have a little adventure with me. We had a great time. And Stan isn't a bad singer, either...(though to be perfectly honest, he was a little flat.)