My name is Beverly Soderstrom Langdon. Mr. Pappone was my band teacher
in 7th and 8th grade at Franklin Jr. High school in Long Beach in 1953
& 1954. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Press Telegram on
6-14-97. It didn't get published. I'm sure that there are many people
who wrote about how they loved Michael Pappone. Here's what I wrote:
It was with great
sadness that I saw the obituary for Dr. Michael A. Pappone. He was my
band teacher at Franklin Jr.High School in 1953 & 1954. I can't
begin to express the impact he had on my life. Sometimes in 4th period
band class, we wouldn't even play a note. Mr. Pappone would talk to us
for the whole period - about being a good person, about how much his
family meant to him (his two little daughters, Pam & Geri.) He
would tell us how lucky we were to have parents who provided the
musical instruments for us to be able to be in the band. Also, why we
needed to get a good education so we would be proud of ourselves.
Sometimes, when the drum players in the back would be goofing off, he
would get so mad, he would throw his baton at them. We all really tried
to be good after he got THAT mad.
Mr. Pappone also
taught math at Franklin. I really tried hard in his math class so that
he would be proud of me. We had summer school band (2 hours each day of
Jr. band, and 2 hours of Sr. band. Monday - Friday) We always had some
kind of concert to strive to be good for at the end of the season. I
know we didn't realize it then, but those were the best years of our
I took private
saxophone lessons from Mr. Pappone at Whittakers Music Store in
downtown Long Beach, once a week. (We used to call him "Uncle Mike" -
of course not to his face.) Those lessons cost my mom $2.00 a week.
Just as in band class, sometimes we never got around to playing music.
Sometimes we just talked about how one should live their life, and how
rough life can be. He had an old white car (a Plymouth, I think) When
he left Franklin I thought I was going to die. I didn't die. But I have
kept track of him for all these years. I always felt that as long as he
was around, more kids would get interested in music, and the world
would be a better place - and I'm sure it was.
Goodby, Uncle Mike
We love you.
Beverly Soderstrom Langdon