Today's featured obituary is of Frances Blaisdell, "girl flutist," as the headline put it, quotes and all, who was one of the first women to play flute professionally in a major symphony orchestra.
Here's the part that really got me: Her father "was in the lumber business, but his own love was the flute, and he started teaching her to play when she was 5. He wished she were a boy and called her Jim."
OK, how many men in the lumber business do you imagine have the flute as their first love?
I think nowadays most people think of the flute as an almost totally feminine instrument, James Galway notwithstanding. I remember going to a National Flute Association Convention back in the day; it wasn't exactly a world of opportunity for matchmaking, let's just say.
I just find it very interesting how it seems that men and boys abandon things that seem to be tainted with femininity. Boys playing flute nowadays have to deal with all sorts of crap. What is that about?
Wonderful obit, btw. I recommend it.