While I was in San Jose over the weekend, I went with my parents to visit the grave of my grandfather, Quentin Vennis Harold Manson, who died in 1987. He was 74 years old at the time. When he died, I was stationed far away in the Air Force and could not attend the funeral. Somehow, over the years, I never got to the cemetery, Los Gatos Memorial Park, just west of San Jose.
Grandpa Quentin was born in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas, in 1913. He was the last child (of eight) of Otis Manson (1874-1950) and Betty Sanford (1872-1955). At about age 16, he moved to Corpus Christi where he met my grandmother, Jessie Beatrice Bowie. They were married in 1931, but divorced in 1940.
Quentin was a musician. He played the clarinet and the xylophone among other instruments. Early after he married Jessie, he worked as a longshoreman in Houston. But music was always on his mind.
When he went into the Army in World War II, Quentin was sent to Camp Wallace near Galveston. He was assigned to the band. After leaving the Army, Quentin went to find his fortune as a musician, first in Chicago, then in Los Angeles. He became part of the vibrant “Central Avenue” jazz scene.
April 20, 2009 Monday at 7:28 pm