Posted by Bob Joles on March 29, 2001 at 14:54:55:
In Reply to: Lee Richards? posted by Anyone know? on March 25, 2001 at 11:00:50:
I had the great pleasure of knowing both Lee Richardson and Gene Paulson during my tenure at EPCOT.
I was the tubist for the Maple Leaf Brass in the Canada pavillion from September '82 thru May of '87. Lee was right next door in the Great Britain pavillion. We spent many hours during the years I was there discussing everything from world religion to why Disney World employed 17 tuba players (at that time). He could always make me laugh and did so one afternoon for almost three hours while we were waiting out a rain storm. My sides still hurt.
Gene Paulson was an amazing tubist and I told him every time I heard him play. I would go over to the Magic Kingdom on my days off from the quintet (or down to Rosie O'Grady's at night) and listen to Gene play. The WDW Band would break down into smaller groups and I would listen for hours to the dixieland band play. Gene had the best time of any musician I've ever known and that list includes some great studio drummers I've worked with. The longer Gene played a tune the more rock solid the time was. There were times when I swear the drummer was listening to Gene for the beat!
I had the honor of playing in a large brass choir at Gene's funeral service along with 5 other tubist's. It was a sad day when I found out that Gene had passed away while running to catch the bus from the parking lot to get into the Magic Kingdom for work. He had a massive heartattack on the bus. He was running back to the bus because he had forgotten his mouthpiece in his car. That day I found out that Gene had a weak heart and should never had even thought of running anywhere.
Lee died a few years after I moved back to Los Angeles (1993) from liver cancer. He was a very dear friend and a sweet, gentle human being. I miss both Lee and Gene and think of them often.