Friday, May 04, 2007

Cool Cat Billy Melton

On April 24, my grandfather, William Oliver Melton, passed away. He was 85 and had lived a full, joyful life. We, his family and friends all over the country, were sad, but that night we knew they were partying in heaven!

In his obituary he wrote, "Without music life is a mistake."
(Any wonder I married a musician?)

At Papa's house, you could listen to music,

look up at music (This is the ceiling in one of the basement

walk on music,

sit on music,

tell time by music,

party to music (My grandparents once had more than 1,000 people
attend a 24-hour-long party in their one-bathroom house!),

learn about the history of black music in America,

(Grandmama, Count Basie, Papa)
And simply appreciate music and life.

He was one cool cat and oh how I miss him.


M said...

Your Papa was a legendary man. But he's looking down right now smiling at his "cool cat" Carleen.

Anonymous said...


Those photos left me speechless. So many people love something but are afraid to show their passion because they worry too much about how others will react. Your grandfather was known and loved by his family, but his lesson -- live life, enjoy life, share your passion with the world and don't worry what others think -- will be appreciated by everyone who reads your blog.

Thanks for letting us share a moment of an extraordinary life.

Ms. Peri

Anonymous said...

Gosh I wish I'd thought to remember my parents and grandparents as grandly as you have, Carleen! Leave it to you be so inspiring and dear! No wonder you are a remarkable, gifted woman--you have a wonderful heritiage to build on! :-) RF

Tiffeileen said...

Thanks for sharing this blog and pics, cous. Grandpapa was a true treasure. I'll miss his smile and laugh the most. I just came across a pic of him and I when I was about 5, at my Mom's house. He wasn't my blood relative, but he was always my Grandpapa and he always will be!

Earth Angel said...

So awesome. I feel like I "met" your papa! Love the records hanging from the ceiling, and the pictures, love all of it really.

Earth Angel said...

There is so much joy in this post, I forgot to give you my condolences! Clearly a lot of love living on...

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks everybody. I didn't get back to thank folks when I first wrote this because I was a bit too emotional.

Angela, That's how I feel every time I run across a picture of him or a letter from my grandparents or an article about him (he was a really good PR man--in a different world there's no telling what he would have become). He was so alive that he just jumps out. A good role model for us all.