It is interesting how a piece of music can recreate vivid memories. This morning I was listening to CBC radio. They were playing a Mozart violin concerto and I slipped a couple of decades back into the past. I was remembering Father Mulcahy and the actor William Christopher who played him in the television series M.A.S.H.
William Christopher was performing dinner theatre at a major hotel in our city. On his night off he came to our restaurant for dinner. Of all nights for me to be out of town! I was dismayed that I had missed the opportunity to tell him how much joy watching M.A.S.H had given us. I gathered up my courage and telephoned him. “You had given us so much over the years would you please let us show our gratitude by dining with us at Roxy’s Bistro.”
And that is how it all began. He walked into the restaurant. Other diners smiled and nodded and respected his privacy. A group of us talked long into the evening. William Christopher told us when he wasn’t doing dinner theatre he taught music at a California university.
I asked if there was music he was particularly fond of. “I love Mozart. Particularly his violin concertos.. The concerto #5 in A Major is one of my favorites” he replied. I slipped quietly from the table and put a tape into our sound system. Mozart’s violin concerto #5 soared through the high-ceiling room, swirled around our table wrapping us in music. We sat quietly sipping our wine and listening. It was the perfect ending to a perfect evening.
Early the next morning the phone rang. The oh so familiar voice from M.A.S.H. William Christopher asking us to be his guests at the dinner theatre. We still watch M.A.S..H. every evening at 7:00 pm. It is like watching old friends. And every once in a while we say to each other “remember when we’ve dined with Father Mulcahy”.