The Music of
Thomas E. Peterson
The Story Behind a Song

        The song Grandma was written in the fall of 1973. This song tells a true story, one that seemingly continues, through its performance. Having previously joined the Marine Corps, Tom was stationed at Naval Air Station, Millington TN. for training in basic airframes, the beginning stage in becoming a jet engine mechanic. It must have been a weekend when the events aligned that allowed this song to come into existence. Weekends allowed the leisure time for writing home, sharing with loved ones the things that happened in those day. The letter on this occasion was to his Grandmother, his father's mother. Tom had a special bond with Grandma Irene. She had done as likely most grandmothers do, the trying to bring joy into the lives of their grandchildren. The content in the letter is unfitting for discussion, and honestly its memory has floated beyond the horizon of fetching by the passage of time. The letter was merely an attempt to share in the family ties. The words must have channeled toward describing the unfolding of events occurring during training, after-all, being in the military was a stark contrast to any previous experience, thus there was plenty to share.

Having completed the letter, Tom set to a continuation of writing. That writing process created this song Grandma. Looking back at it is now done through a long distance in time. The memories of the moment remain vague, overshadowed by what seemed important and imposing in those early days of serving out the military contract. The truth in the words do however remain, "Every time I sing this song, I love you a little more." May you rest in peace.

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