Music has been coursing through
Daryl's veins since before he was born. His Great-Grand Pappy, Slappy the
first, was playing piano on the R.M.S. Titanic at 11:35 pm for a gathering
of off duty floozies on April 15, 1912. This is the last known photo of
him ever taken, (on the ship anyway). Family lore has it the he stepped
out onto the poop deck into the moon less night
for a quick "smoke," moments after this photograph was taken. He was the
first to see the huge, dark iceberg looming off in the distance.
He frantically yelled up to the first officer Murdock who was standing on the bridge, "Hard to Port! No..ah Starboard, no..ah, hell... Just Turn Left!! Go.. Hard Left, NOW!" The first officer, amused, pointed out the animated "Slappy," who was now jumping around and pointing desperately, (probably distracting them from seeing the fateful berg themselves) to his mates and said, "That 'reefer-head' wouldn't know his 'aft' from a hole in the ground. Turn left.. what an idiot." They all watched and had a good laugh as Slappy, dancing erratically and waving his arms madly, lost his voice yelling obscenities at them. Within a minute, the spotters in the crows nest above, rang out the signal for an iceberg dead ahead, but by then, it was a done deal.
When he pushed several women and old men aside to get on a lifeboat, he felt he had already done his part. Besides, while "the band played on" (minus the piano player) as the ship went down, he could entertain the lifeboat refugees with his trusty harmonica that he always carried. No less than Molly Brown herself called out for a "Camp Town Ladies" sing-along as they rowed away, drowning out the anguished cries of the lost passengers and crew treading water, left behind to freeze. "C'mon you crybabies..," Slappy yelled, "Everybody now..'Bicycle Built for Two'..here we go.. one, and a two..".
He went into seclusion after returning to the states, unable to find work due to musical blacklisting and being hounded by the press as ''the worst kind of coward." The family has long wondered what "the best kind of coward" must be. He was so depressed he hocked all his musical instruments and went to work as a potato peeler. He wouldn't teach any of his 11 children music and they didn't teach their children music. The musical ball was dropped until great grand son Daryl "Slappy 2" came along and decided it was time for another Privette to get back in the game.
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