Dear Mr. Sondheim,
It had been my secret wish one day to meet you.
Now that any chance of that happening has been dashed, I must admit that the odds against it were always pretty steep.
Yet the distance between us, vast as it always was, never seemed very great to me, for I have long taken inspiration from your work: how it shines a light into the shadowy recesses of our cultural conscience; how your music’s urbanity and playfulness disarms but does not anaesthetize the listener so that the shock of illumination, when it inevitably comes, opens a channel of communication miraculous in scope, almost mystical were it not so firmly grounded in the earth of our shared and solid human reality.
Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.
Though my wish will never be fulfilled, your legacy is priceless, and I am content listening to the OCRs for the thousandth time and the thousand-and-first, and so on.
Farewell, Mr. S.
Salt Lake City