I saw Gary's post at the psrtutorial forum last night and I posted a reply there. I didn't see the post here until this evening. Let me reproduce my reply, which was entitled "Renaissance Man", in this forum as well:
After yesterday's wonderful visit by Gary, it was difficult to go back to a regular day of work, but I did. I didn't get a chance to check the forum until this evening, when I spotted Gary's note. You all know Gary, not only from his posts in this and other forums, but also from the wildly popular "Gig Disks" he created. But now, let me tell you the rest of the story about this modern day "Renaissance" man.
Among his many professions, Gary is, of course, a performer. And when he sat down at my PSR-2100 to try out this PSR-2000 clone, he was surrounded by my collection of some 11,000 songs in a couple dozen different fake books. He didn't need any of it. I swear he must have had most of the song library tucked away in his head. No matter what song title I, or Joyce, tossed his way, he could not only play it, he could sing it complete with all the lyrics.
But Gary can not only drive this car, he can also tune it up and change the tires. He told me about the "box" he built Donny to help him put all the components of his rig together in a convenient on-stage assembly, about how he had redone his own assembly with newer more lightweight parts, about a footswitch assembly he had put together for ??? -- I already forget. Of course, he also wrote the lesson on how to record your performances to an MP3 file and then onto CDs. Gary understands the electronics of this environment far better than I could ever hope (or want) to. This led me to speculate about perhaps adding a section at the tutorial for home handymen that would give some schematics or building plans for those hobbiests out there who like to put things together.
But Gary's expertise is not just music related. As he told me about being his own general contractor when building his house a couple of decades ago, he mentioned that he had done his own landscaping. What was that? Landscaping! Here was an opportunity I didn't want to miss. We have a sump pump that goes almost non-stop and my wife (who really is the commander in this household) had been talking to various people about what the cause might be and how to fix it. I figured I'd better get Gary in talking to Joyce! She relayed our story and Gary really was a font of knowledge. After some inspections around the house, he had diagnosed the problem and laid out some very sensible plans on how we could get the problem fixed (which had to do with the drainage patterns around the house and how to fix them.) I"ll have to make sure I don't misplace that napkin! That was a very pleasant bonus!
Some of you may know that Gary is the author of quite a few outdoorsman / hunting / fishing columns. I knew he wrote a fishing column for the Washington Post -- I wasn't aware, however, that he also wrote columns, all different, for a couple dozen additional publications. I was also surprised to learn over lunch, that Gary had spent many years writing a cooking column. Gary keeps not only lyrics in his head, but countless recipes as well. He was able to give Joyce several cheesecake receipes, including all ingredients, right off the top of his head. In fact, she described a cake, which she had many years ago at a party, that she loved and had always been meaning to get the recipe for. From her description of the color, taste and texture, he was able to give her a pretty good guess at how the cake was made! I jokingly commented that he had enough cheesecake recipes to make a cookbook! It turns out, he does! Gary said he had some 25 cheesecake receipies -- hey! maybe we need a PSR Performer cookbook section ??? -- maybe not quite enough to put out a cheesecake cook book, but getting there. (Of course, Joyce had just come back from the grocery store where she had purchased for dessert that evening, you guessed it, a cheesecake! Oh, well.)
On the day of Gary's visit, I had just about completed the update of my fake book index. Of course, knowing what "book" a song can be found in is not very useful to those players who, like Gary, play by ear. So we also discussed what other infromation would be useful to include in a music finder database. For non-book players, it seems putting performer information, as well as song year, could be useful. Using the Search facility, one could then quickly find all the song records of Frank Sinatra hits, or Sonny & Cher, or the Temptations, etc. Or all the songs in the database from the 1950s or the 1970s. You get the idea.
It was a terrific visit, Gary. I'll look forward to visiting your "estate" some time. In the meantime, let's see, how many of those ideas can I start working on .....