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Breakfast with Harry

Posted by bluegrassjunkie on Saturday, August 6, 2011

My daughter Genise asked me to come to the restaurant she works at to meet one of her favorite regular customers. ”Dad can you please come for breakfast and meet with Harry??, he’s a retired musician from the Cleveland Orchestra and he wants to meet you and talk about your new invention…I told him all about it and he say’s he can help get the word out to his many musician friends…he reminds me so much of Grandpa Campbell”…..

Thanks to Genise, I was fortunate to meet Harry Barnoff for breakfast. He’s a 46 year retired member of the Cleveland Orchestra, a former WWII Army Orchestra member that played for our troops and former Presidents, and many other notable accomplishments. Over several cups of coffee, we shared our common interests in music, and as it turns out, he was the string teacher and mentor for Nathaniel Ayer’s, a young musical prodigy, troubled with depression, who was discovered in L.A. by Steve Lopez (L.A. Times columnist) homeless and playing an old Violin for pocket change.(that was missing half the strings!!)

Through Steve, Nathaniel began to share his story that began at a young age with lessons from Harry, then Ohio University School of Music, Julliard’s School of Music and eventually the streets of Los Angeles.

This inspired Lopez to contact Harry regarding his former student and write the true story that is featured in his best selling book “The Soloist” and in the 2009 movie with the same title that features Jamie Foxx (as Nathaniel Ayers) and Robert Downey Jr.(as Steve Lopez)

As Harry sat across from me, he told me the story of Nathaniel…it was hard not to break into tears.. This has been one of the most humbling, saddest, and inspiring days I can remember…I made a new friend through music..Thanks Gen!! I love you! Dad.

Google “The Soloist” and Harry Barnoff…it will brighten your day!


3 comments on “Breakfast with Harry”

eerohero Says:
Saturday, August 6, 2011 @11:14:01 AM

theres nothing like Storytelling Friends, as Gordon Lightfoot made a song of it, "Sit down young stranger, and tell Us who you are "

I will sure google up this one .....thanxs

mudbug Says:
Saturday, August 6, 2011 @2:19:41 PM

I haven't seen the movie, but I read the book twice. Inspiring.

Bart Says:
Saturday, August 6, 2011 @7:29:24 PM

Movie was well acted...didn't realize there was a book. I'll have to check that out.

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