(Letter to Rebecca Parris, one of the singers who have recorded "First Time On A Ferris Wheel")
My name is Dan O'Reilly, and I am a sax player/educator in Myrtle Beach,
SC. I wanted to write to you to tell you a wonderful story that you are
a part of. Please take the time to read this, and Thank-you.
I am originally from New York, and moved to Myrtle Beach back in 1994.
I was coming out of a difficult relationship that was collapsing on me.
About a year later, I began gigging in the house band at a blues club
Bottomz. While working there, I met a beautiful young
woman named Lisa. She was waiting tables there at the time. I watched
her from the stage night after night, and she had this uncanny ability
to have all of her customers laughing and smiling within moments of her
arriving to take their order. This appealed to me, and I began to work
up the nerve to speak with her.
Our first conversation took place while Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing
Till You Hear From Me" was playing on the jukebox, and Lisa remarked
that she wished she could have lived back when this music was popular.
This also appealed to me, and we became fast friends. Friendship began
to blossom into love very quickly. (This is almost where you come in)
Lisa has an uncle, who plays jazz trumpet, and he recommended that she
find a CD by a jazz singer named Rebecca Parris. We were unable to find
it locally, so we ordered one. When it arrived, Lisa played it in the
store, and was deeply moved by the song "First Time On a Ferris Wheel".
She began crying, and exclaimed that it was the most beautiful song, and
that it described exactly what she felt about our relationship. When I
heard the song, I had to admit that she was right, it did capture our
As time went on, we continued to grow closer, and our relationship
flowered even more. We had many obstacles and hurdles to overcome, (far
to many to list here), but we knew that God had brought us together for
a reason. I knew that I wanted to marry her, but how to propose, that
was the question. Lisa is an exceptionally creative
peron, and I knew
that my proposal would have to really sweep her off her feet.
(Literally, as it turns out.)
As I drove around Myrtle Beach, the answer came to me. I would propose
on top of a Ferris Wheel with "our" song playing! This is exactly what
happened, but I sent her on a "scavenger hunt" to all the places that
had played a role in our relationship first.
(ie: church, where we met,
first kiss, favorite place etc.) At each location, she would pick up
more clues as to where I would be waiting with the ring. Sure enough,
Lisa deciphered my clues, and arrived at the Ferris Wheel. We climbed
on board, and I had a tape player with your recording on it playing. I
asked, she accepted, and the wedding is set for Friday, August 2.
We plan on having "First Time On A Ferris Wheel" playing as we cut our
wedding cake. Our story has been quite a ride so far, but as the song
says, "The view from up here is so clear and real...and still I want to
keep on riding". Thank you Rebecca Parris for recording such a
beautiful song, one that continues to mean so much to Lisa and I.
If there is any chance that you are passing through South Carolina in
early August, let me know. We would love to have you attend our
wedding. As a musician myself, I am aware that this is probably not
possible, but please consider yourself welcome and invited. I know this
e-mail is long, but I wanted you to know our story, and the role that
you and your music have played in our lives.
Thank-you again, and all the best of success and happiness to you,