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that I’ve forgotten. Arnie was not much of a student, in spite of his intelligence. Getting him through high school was quite the struggle because “everything is stupid” and he didn’t get the importance of doing well, though he cared enough to graduate. But, he never stopped learning his music. In his junior year, he decided he wanted to go to The Berkee College of Music. Auditions are held all over the


country, but I chose to take him to Boston so we could see the belly of the beast, the place where I would go broke should he by chance get accepted. We had an amazing 72 hours in Boston. Touring Berklee, I saw the Wonder-Eyes that my teen son hadn’t shown since he was a kid going to Disneyland. He was in heaven. He applied for early admission and thought he did pretty well on his audition, for which he’d practiced a ton. The audition also included random music tests in which he had to sing back – in notes – random things played for him, copy rifts on the drums, jam with Berklee teachers, etc. He got in. Early acceptance. I got a heart attack upon learning how much the tuition was. I was proud. Now, he wanted his first tattoo. He had just turned 18. Our understanding, after several years of discussion, was that he could not get a tattoo before he was 18 and he had to pay for any tattoos with money he earned. He got a job. He showed up last month with his first tattoo. I say “first” because he plans several more. Parents must choose their battles.


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PHOTO: BRUCE SALLAN


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