Affinity and Beyond – Episode 34

Henry attached a note to the next name saying “I hope she will talk with you and you get her to tell you her real story”. Brianna was intrigued. She had always been a good listener and people were remarkably open with her. Often she chose not to include their real stories in her interviews.

Patsy came to Henry’s foundation when her mother died. Her father abandoned her mother and her a few years earlier and would not accept responsibility for her care. Patsy was quiet and very introspective. She would often sit alone with pen and paper jotting down thoughts as she seemed to be mumbling to herself.

One night, unable to sleep, Patsy was walking through the foundation when she saw Henry’s light on. As she neared his office, she heard her namesake, Patsy Cline, singing. Henry welcomed her in his office and invited her to sit. At Patsy thought back on that moment, she wasn’t sure what prompted her to start singing with her namesake.

Henry rose from his chair, walked to his closet and handed Patsy a guitar. That encouraged her to continue singing to accompany her namesake. When the recording ended, Patsy continued with another song. Henry was mesmerized. He had never heard Patsy Cline sing that song before, but it was wonderful. When Patsy stopped singing Henry asked her: “I’ve never heard that song before. Was it a Patsy song?” “Yes, it was”, Patsy said. “I’m a Patsy too.”

As Henry was to discover, Patsy had written the lyrics to a number of songs but only had the melodies in her mind. Her father had destroyed her guitar before he left. Henry gave her his guitar if she agreed to share her songs with him as she completed them.

She agreed, but refused to share them with anyone but Henry. Eventually Henry got her to share her talent on YouTube but only if he did the recording and the songs were released without showing her. What Henry was able to do was rent a sound studio for the recording. One of the residents was very talented at video productions so the songs were merged with video images depicting the lyrics of the song. The artist on the video was given the name of Patsy Too.

The songs became an instant hit, and producers wanted to discover who Patsy Too was and get her into a contract. Henry had setup the release of the songs so that no one would ever know who the Patsy Too was. No contracts were ever signed and there were no tours. The mystery behind Patsy Too actually enhanced the song’s attractions.

Brianna couldn’t figure out why Henry considered her a disappointment. As Brianna got to know Patsy, they became friends and it was one of those moments that friends share that helped Brianna unravel the real story that Henry had mentioned to her when he gave her Patsy’s name.

“This can’t be in your story or shared with anyone else”, Patsy began. “I started life as Paul.”

Brianna began to understand Henry’s disappointment. Patsy could have done a lot for the transgender community if she had revealed her story. But the hatred and abuse that would have followed was not something Patsy was willing to undergo.

Brianna began to wonder how she thought about Henry’s disappointment. Was he being fair to Patsy? Were there times when one’s personal life should not be sacrificed to the public good? That was a dimension of talent she had never considered.

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“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.”  – Mitch Albom (Sports Writer and Author)

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