In Memory of My Brother Harold David Box (1943-1964) by Rita Box Peek
Harold David Box was born August 11, 1943 in Sulphur Springs, Texas. David moved with our parents, Virginia and Harold Box, to Lubbock, Texas in 1946. Daddy was a self-taught Western Swing fiddle musician. He and two other musician friends with their families wanted to stay just long enough in Lubbock to earn extra money for the remaining journey to Las Vegas, Nevada where they expected to become professional entertainers. Unfortunately, they stayed in Lubbock too long, so the dream of moving West grew faint, while their roots grew deeper into the West Texas soil.
Daddy and his friends played at public performances whenever they could, and working various day jobs to pay the bills. It's only natural that David inherited the gift of music, and began his singing career at the age of 3. David clearly possessed the ingredients of becoming a performance artist.
I was born April 18, 1948 in Lubbock and David liked being my big brother. Western music was always in the air around our house. As kids, David and I enjoyed watching daddy play and sing; he had a good tenor voice and knew how to make the fiddle bow dance across the strings! Music was a common occurrence, and the unspoken idea was everybody can do this and they live like we do. Sometimes, Saturday evenings would be spent with daddy and his friends practicing music, while the ladies made coffee and cooked dinner. Sunday afternoons might offer a time for us as a family to sing hymns, and a few times, we sang at College Avenue Baptist Church in Lubbock.
Christmas time was spent with the grandparents who lived in Commerce, Texas and farm land near Sulphur Springs, Texas. Driving there would be done at night, so that more daytime could be spent with the relatives. While stopping for the traffic lights in those little East Texas towns, we would role down our car windows and sing Christmas carols. Daddy would sing in the lower range, mother would sing alto, while David and I sang the high pitched melody. As we grew older, David's voice became the one to hear, and I adjusted my soprano voice to harmonize with him whenever possible.
David loved music! He had an unending appetite for it, and was delighted when our father bought him a guitar, showed him the basic cords, and left the rest for David to discover for himself. Did he ever! David took off like a comet on fire. I remember seeing the painful calluses on the tips of his fingers from their press on the guitar strings. He spent a lot of his time inventing, perfecting cords with rhythm combinations, and singing. Then, came Buddy Holly of Lubbock, and David's new music influence took a dramatic hold on him! David enjoyed playing music with school friends, and planning his future in the recording industry. Eventually, David would have another giant serving of rock n' roll in his life, Roy Orbison. I remember David becoming more serious about his direction in music, and in a way, it became his daily bread.
David possessed a vast amount of talent. He loved to draw and sketched with pencil, pen and ink. Mother saved just about every crayola picture from his elementary school days. Junior high and high school art classes in those days were not very directive for his interest. He was happy to express his work at home the best way that he could, especially focused on illustrative art. Special paper and other related materials usually cost too much, so he would frequently use scrap pieces of cardboard or whatever was handy. He used a piece of lumber to paint a contemporary abstract portrait. David could draw just about anything without having to look at the object. A few times, I would join David at the kitchen table to draw, and of course, he was the teacher. Once, we bought paint by numbers sets, and thought that might be helpful with the learning process. We were both hungry for visual art. One summer, we walked from our house at 2313-47th Street to a retail furniture and accessory business named Design Today, located on 2313-34th Street, to see everything in the store; we thought that it was like a museum! We would talk about what we saw as we walked along, and how beauty and design was wrapped all together. With the passage of time, David knew that commercial art would be waiting for him to pursue in the event that his music career did not materialize.
David matured into a strong singer, songwriter and guitarist. I observed his amazing transformation as someone very much ahead of his time. We talked a lot and his hopes and dreams were grand, so I wanted to be apart of them, too. He was looking higher above the horizon line than most people his age, and working to achieve his goals. Ego was never a factor with him. I think that is what drew people to him. I also think that is what drew more of SPIRIT that fed his heart and soul which resulted in his music. There is a message in the music of DAVID BOX. Do your best, whatever it is, and don't let the negative of people, places and things take one ounce of it away from you. You Are Worthy. The gift you possess is yours and yours alone. Let it fill every part of you. Shine brightly! The extra light may be just enough for someone to find their way on the path and connect with their destiny. I know personally that it did for me.
Enjoy the music and detailed booklet of THE DAVID BOX STORY CD, and know that he gave his best with the time he had to the early 1960's rock n' roll music history. His sudden and tragic death was in a small plane crash on October 23, 1964. However, his voice and guitar lives on to say, "I'll Sing Throughout Eternity".
I'll remember you…"Talent shimmering in the darkness of day Here on a land so dry
No living water for miles…"
…" Soaring above them all
Nothing is going to keep you down
Inhaling as much of your fiery dust…"
" Endless melodies and words play on
Singing from your heart full of song
Staying behind, I can't go along…"
" Leaving as quickly as you came
Playing strings of solid gold
Did anyone really hear your voice?..."
" On the edge of something great
Race faster towards the brilliant light
For we shall not see the likes of you again…"