December-11th-2012, 11:43 AM
Has quit quitting
December-11th-2012, 12:16 PM
I hadn't realized that Attila Zoller was the founder of the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. I also didn't realize that he had a home in nearby Newfane, Vermont, an area with which I'm quite familiar. You can be sure I will be looking for Mr. Zoller's initials the next time I'm up in the Newfane/Townshend area which will be right after Christmas. I happened to stumble upon this touching little postscript on the Vermont Jazz Center's website.
Postscript By Eugene Uman
Until the last year of his life when cancer slowed him, Attila Zoller swam back and forth five or six times a day along a long concrete dam which briefly confines the West River into a small lake called Townshend Lake. The lake is in the small town of Townshend, Vermont, about eight miles from Attila's rustic home in Newfane, Vermont. Below this dam, the West River curls southeast, hugged by Vermont Route 30, until it arrives in Brattleboro, where it feeds into the Great Connecticut River. From there, the crystal clean waters of Vermont run through Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York into the Atlantic Ocean.
So too have traveled some of the remains of Attila Zoller.
Attila requested that his ashes be distributed into the waters of this peaceful place where he felt close to nature. Attila told me that he didn't like the idea of a gravestone where people would come to visit "somebody's old bones." Now people can remember Attila when they swim in his favorite place.
On the frigid morning of January 28, Attila's daughter, Alicia Zoller; former girl-friend, Joy Wallens-Penford; good friend and confidant, Terry Solaro; long-time friend, musical associate and vice president of the Vermont Jazz Center, Howard Brofsky; and Attila's new friend and newly appointed director of the Vermont Jazz Center, Eugene Uman, gathered at the snow-covered dam.
All of us realized that the ice was too thick for chipping away a hole to spread Attila's ashes. So we all looked around and saw, about 300 yards to the south, an old abandoned covered bridge, the longest single-span covered bridge in the entire state. The West River ran quickly and freely below it. The bridge was the perfect place from which to spread the ashes of the man we all cared for so completely.
We parked our cars on the side of Route 30, and in a bittersweet celebration we opened a bottle of champagne and toasted Attila, friendship, love, the Vermont Jazz Center, and of course music. We drank the champagne from paper cups and then used those very cups to toss Attila's ashes into the shallow running waters below. Alicia started and we followed, muttering our little prayers and knowing that this was a monumental occasion, but feeling naked during a moment of such import.
If one looks closely, a person can find, carved into the bridge, a guitar initialed "AZ" next to an arrow pointing into the glistening water.
"...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride." - Anthony Bourdain
December-11th-2012, 12:54 PM
Has quit quitting
A friend of mine and former student of Attila Zoller, Mitch Seidman, just put out a CD with a couple of the folks connected with the Vermont Jazz Center, Claire Arenius and Jamie MacDonald.
Last edited by rollhead; December-11th-2012 at 12:55 PM.