Happy Mother's Day Love Michael

Michael's Mom Gloria Pace and Family.jpg

The hearth of our home was the warmth of my mother’s arms and  wherever the music was - the radio, the record player and my mother’s voice singing the hooks of her favorite songs.
My mother, Gloria, a strong, proud, self-educated woman, often went without for her four children and made magic happen every day. She is my role model and through the years she has been both a mother and a father to me.  In a word, she is music and music is love!

She had great sayings, expressions, to explain situations that required a longer explanation that would have been beyond my years and my understanding. I would ask “Mom where you going?” She would say “I am going to see a man about a dog”. My reply always was, “Yeah! We are getting a dog!”  My favorite line was “I am gonna get the butter from the duck”. That was a warning of an impending spanking. I got my last one at 16 when she threw a soft house slipper like a boomerang and it hit me in the head in another part of the house.

She made her best cakes in the middle of the night. In the morning there was always a piece missing so I would ask, “Mom who ate the cake?” She would say “it called to me last night, saying taste me, taste me”. Her cakes were special -the butter icing cake with coconut and the amazing chocolate cake. Her cakes soothed my tears and fueled my desire to be somebody.

One thing we always had at home was music, records, singing, radio and every Sunday morning my mother and father would dance in the living room to big band music. We’d visit m Uncle Norris and Aunt Massie’s house where the old men played blues guitar and drank Cutty Stark surrounded by Silvertone amplifiers and guitars some made by my Uncle Amos.  They were once weekend warriors on the Ohio rhythm and blues circuit.

Music was part of the glue to which held my life and the lives of my family together. My mother was really the one who opened me to all forms of music. She was my teacher with her “Time Life” greatest music ever heard series; she turned me on to Reggae. I heard Bob Marley and the Wailers who had a huge impact on Cleveland, Ohio, (where I grew up) and the rock n roll community and on me.

I had been given  Jimmy Cliff’s  “Music Maker” and “Unlimited” from my mentor and friend Enos Lynn  Doyle (a friend and  black rock radio DJ  at WNCR in Cleveland ). Before I could listen to the Jimmy Cliff records, she did. She  loved them and recommended them to me.

The whole family took an extreme liking to my James Taylor albums. I remember around the house my mother often would sing the hook from his “Fire and Rain”, “Shower the People”, and “You’ve Got a Friend” in perfect pitch. Normally she sings only the chorus and the hooks of any song, never the lyrics. But when it came to James Taylor she knew all the words!

While I was away at Concordia University in Montreal, my family started a new tradition with my siblings; taking my parents to see James Taylor’s live shows in Cleveland every year. Although my dad has passed, the tradition continues.  This year I called in a favoUr with James Taylor’s management and got my family great seats at the concert.  I wasn’t able to attend with them but received live pictures from the show via my sister.  My mother really wanted to meet James Taylor but, unfortunately, there was not going to be a meet and greet after the show . That didn’t deter her. It seems that my little 70 something year old mother walked down to the stage in between songs, passed security, and without a backstage pass, walked right up to the stage and asked James Taylor for his autograph. He signed her tickets which made her day - and mine. Love you Mom and thank you for the music in my life...

Your loving son, Michael