Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

What Andy Hoe Meant To Me

When I was growing up, on Treacy Street, I used to hear the St. Marys Marching Band, practicing at the high school. I was so drawn to the drum rhythms, that I would sneak away to the factory across the tracks, where I could watch them from a distance. I don’t even remember how, but I eventually met Andy Hoe and we started to talk and I mentioned about my love for the drums (my grandfather, Tom “Rick” Tevlin was a drummer for the St. Marys band many years ago). Andy talked me into coming for a few lessons and that he would teach me what he could. After awhile he asked me to go and meet with the band drum core instructor (who shall remain nameless). He said that “everything I was doing was wrong” as far as he was concerned. Being super shy back then, I never went back.

At that time, my mother was working in the food booth at the local arena on Friday nights, and Andy was helping sell tickets at the gate. I don’t think a Friday went by (as my mother told me later) that Andy didn’t approach her and ask if I was playing drums at home and encouraged her to tell me to not give it up.

In my mid teens, my parents bought me a “red plastic snare drum” from Sears … that started it ( they probably regretted it later as I was constantly playing on it in my room. The thing about playing drums, (while practicing) is that the player hears the songs in his or her head … but no one else does!!! To them it is just noise without the other instruments.

Over the next year, I saved and bought a full drum set. An opportunity came to fill in one night with Skipper’s dance band. Here I was, a teenager, playing with all these “older musicians”. The bug had a hold of me now and I ended up playing with other local dance bands for the rest of my teens.

At the age of nineteen, I joined my first traveling band ( yes I know that you had to be 21 to play in nightclubs back then) but I was clean cut and didn’t cause any problems.

The main purpose of this letter is to thank Andy Hoe for his steadfast persistence (yes I did tell him this when he was alive).

If not for Andy Hoe I would not have had a professional music career for 13 years from 1969 to 1983. If not for Andy Hoe I would not have ventured out and seen Canada as I traveled and played in every province of this great country. If not for Andy Hoe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take part in 4 showcases in Las Vegas.

Music changed my life and for that I will forever be grateful to Andy Hoe.

Thank you Andy!!!

Tom Osgerby

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