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Bringing the music to them: Local trumpeter plays for residents from parking lot

Chuck Par-Due took his talents to Glenwood Place Senior Living to entertain residents in a different way.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — When it comes to the weather, there have been some seriously blue skies looking down on us lately. Despite the circumstances, spirits are still high at Glenwood Place Senior Living.

“Oh my gosh, the weather is beautiful. It’s wonderful. And today was absolutely a perfect day,” said Shirley Hofmeister, from her second-floor balcony.

She and her husband Jerry are two of about 400 residents here that have been forced to postpone family visits and community gatherings within the complex.

“Because we’re in isolation, I haven’t been able to see so many of these friends that I’ve missed so much.” Things like game nights and live music at the facility are on hold for now, until the curve of COVID-19 flattens out and trails off.

But days can still be special. On Thursday, the management got creative to ensure positivity isn’t the only thing echoing off the buildings.

“I never realized… how important it was to me to be able to take my music to those folks,” said Chuck Par-Due. He’s used to playing at places like this, but not in this way.

With the sunshine pouring down, Chuck brought his trumpet to play and take requests for about 90 minutes from the parking lot. “That was really, really gratifying,” he said.

This channel is dedicated to preserving the music of Harry James and other giants of Big Band Swing. I also feature performances by my wife and I, and other ...

Par-Due is like many in our area, whose work has disappeared as the coronavirus spread. He says his lifeline over the last several years has been entertaining in assisted living facilities, but all of his gigs now have been canceled. Which is why waving residents and scattered applause make for such a breath of fresh air.

“There’s always something to look forward to,” he said.

He joked that he’s had plenty of free time finish a book he’s been writing about legendary trumpet player, Harry James. Par-Due is about two months from getting it published.

For Shirley and Jerry, the music performance made it a little easier to live in the moment.

“Hang in there…we’re all in this together and we support each other and love each other,” said Shirley.

Chuck also sees the bluer skies that are coming soon. “We’re thawing out as a society, and it’s all gonna be waiting for us when the curtain’s lifted,” he said.

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