Absent of the fact of any Gerald Lee parenting influence, and of any verification that Clara had refused all, or even most, of Amy’s childhood musical development, my head reeled thinking of the possibilities stemming from biographical error. And from thoughts of the possibilities for error. Errors not just perpetuated but amplified over time: one error is repeated, another error added to that error, and another to those two. Over time the number of errors might exceed the number of facts.

It’s all stories then, isn’t it? Stories told by biographers, stories of participants and witnesses to history. Some told with purposeful errors to create bias, most told with all the good truth-sharing intentions. Biographies may just be mythologies in the present tense. Mythologies in the making.

We are fortunate that Clara documented many of the manifestations of Amy’s childhood gifts. A partial list of the child’s favorite songs that Clara kept persists today (although I will show that even that list is not wholly historically accurate). Clara also told a story about how Amy was not only moved deeply by music from the time she was a toddler but by sounds, too. When she listened to the rain falling outside and pattering on the window, she asked her mother to wipe the “tears” off the glass (Block). She was often driven to tears by music played in minor keys. I thought it wonderful when I discovered that the first song Amy wrote and had published was one she composed at thirteen entitled “Rainy Day.” A sad song composed in, of course, a minor key. (go to p5)

(Coming Soon! Terry recording of “Rainy Day")