One day a young Baritone in the school appeared at the office and asked for an accompanist to play for him at a reception. The Dean received the request and later told me to give the candidate a rehearsal. He had set the fee and, reporting to me, said with a twinkle in his eye, “He has plenty of money and he can afford it.” The days following this were crowded, and the party was over and forgotten when Dell Eberhard rushed over to our house.
“Noonie, Noonie, you never told me that you had met my Rich Young Man,” she said reproachfully.
“What is your young man’s name”” I asked, caution overtaking me.
“Now Noon, don’t tell me you didn’t know that the singer you played for at the last reception was my Rich Young Man, the one whose mother provides a body guard to protect him from the wiles of such as you!” she said, laughing gaily.
“Well, he’s safe as far as I’m concerned,” I answered with spirit. “His mama can keep him.”
“Now Noon, he might just as well be spending his money on you as wasting it on a lot of boys that don’t need it.” Where had I heard that refrain? We laughed together, Dell and me, and I forgot the rich young man, but only for a time.
The Rich Young Man wanted an accompanist to practice several hours a week with him and soon he was engaging a generous portion of my afternoons. Maynard and I had bought a new Mason and Hamlin piano and the young man came to our house, where, painstakingly, I taught him his scores. His voice was mellow, and hearing him sing was far from a hardship. I was also present at all his lessons and aware of the objective his mother held for him. When he sang at concerts, I came along to play his accompaniments, and symphony concerts. The theatre and fraternity affairs fell like bonuses from his horn of plenty, extra-curricular awards as it were.