Everything has a story — or so it seems to me. No mere incidences. The process of developing the YouTube for Alaska Bush Pilot Doctor is one of these stories.

The YouTube publisher allowed only 15 sec. I negotiated for 30.

The YouTube publisher used a female voice. I negotiated for a male voice.

The YouTube publisher put in a stock image of a de Haviland Beaver for the voiced “flew a J-3.” This book is about flying. Any pilot can spot the difference between a Beaver and a J-3.  I negotiated for a change to a J-3.

The YouTube publisher put in generic/stock background music. I negotiated for my   brother, Mark’s, music.

Mark was born a musician. He practiced rhythm as soon as he could crawl – with mom’s pots and pans that he pulled out of the cupboards and beat with a wooden spoon. Mom didn’t think this was cute. She saw no future in this.

When he could toddle about, he played a tiny piano.


He told me recently, “I first recognized pitches that were related when we lived in Tulare, California — I was around four-and-a-half. I was enthralled by the vinyl record we had of the Nut-Cracker Suite. That’s when I started to use the little pump organ, too.” Short as he was, and his legs were, that is hard for me to imagine. Mom played the pump organ and we had a piano. I don’t remember him playing either. He was sooo much younger than me (I was 10) and I didn’t pay much attention to him. I was busy roller-skating, dressing our black Pekingese dog in doll clothes, and learning how to make pancakes from scratch.

Our father played the accordion. Ruth and I followed suit, as did Mark – age five. In our family, it was not unusual to play a musical instrument — and to be good at it. Ruth and Mark were good at it. I just did it. We didn’t know we were living with a highly gifted child


At age ten, he was church organist– even though his feet barely touched the pedals. In grade school, his piano teacher was sorely vexed that he could play the music without reading the music — if he’d hear it once. She refused to play it for him. She was not keen on learning or playing music by ear, or allowing a musician to play what he or she hears in their head, and whose fingers play without conscious knowledge of how their fingers meet the keys.

He played trombone in junior high. In high school, the girls clustered around him in the music room where he played piano.  He was short, but he was popular. The wild curly hair didn’t hurt.

He picked Mom’s mandolin and plucked a bass.

In his bedroom, with doors closed, he  composed sound tracks on an old reel-to-reel. He borrowed a friend’s electric bass to add to his acoustic guitar and vocal tracks.

In his 20s, he was the basement go-to studio in Alaska for budding and wannabe vocalists who needed a demo tape to audition.

He’s cut three CDs

–       Christmas music

–       Original instrumental music

–       Unreleased my hymns

Much of his second CD is melancholy. It reflects the turmoil and grief our families’ felt when Mom was dying, and Dad had already died. His CD of hymns is arranged in minor keys.

To make a long story short, I am very pleased with the TV trailer/YouTube of Alaska Bush Pilot Doctor. It’s more than a marketing tool. It’s brother-sister team-work and a blend of creativity where the sum is greater than the parts. It’s a story. I’d like more of these kinds of stories – with my little brother.

Psst! That’s not the only story about Mark. There are the J-3 stories, too.