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Belt Buckles

1941    Born December 5th (8:06pm) in Beth Israel Hospital (NYC). Dr. Ben Segal attending. In reaction, Japanese attack Pearl Harbor two days later.

1945    Moves from Grand Concourse in the Bronx to 180 Riverside Drive in Manhattan with parents and new baby brother, Fred.

1947    Enters P.S. 93 where crowning achievement is captaincy of the indoor monitor squad. Spent much of the 6th grade as a video monitor getting and showing films, and not going to class. Spent most of grades one to five drawing cars, sailing ships, and rockets.

1948    Starts piano lessons. Horowitz not worried.

1950    Abandons the piano and switches to trumpet lessons with Edward Treutel because his grandfather, Sam Yablonsky, was the first trumpet at the Schubert Theater.

1952    Gets new Benge Bb trumpet and starts to get serious about practicing.

1953    Enters rapid advance program at Joan of Arc Junior High School. Excelled at punch ball and Chinese handball during recess. By skipping the 8th grade it guarantees that he will later arrive in high school even more socially retarded than he already is.

1954    Family moves to 610 West End Avenue on same floor as Gunther Schuller and Jerome Moross.

1955    Enters High School of Music & Art. Serves as first cornet in Senior Band and later as co-principal trumpet in Senior Orchestra under Alexander Richter and Isidore Russ. Studies conducting. Takes composition lessons from Morris "Mark" Lawner. Develops a great interest in art, especially the lines and curves of the female form. Has hopeless crush on niece of world-famous conductor. Wins letter as co-captain of championship golf team.
          Last bugler at Camp Swago.

1957    Attends Aspen Music Festival and studies trumpet with Wes Lindskoog. Falls in love for the first time with a pianist from Utah.
          Recovers from broken heart and does trumpet studies with Robert Nagel.

1958    Enters City College of New York. Theory studies with William Dabney Gettel. Composition studies with Mark Brunswick and Paul Turok. Falls in love with great regularity.
          Jazz trumpet studies with Charlie Colin. Fails to qualify for beret or horn-rimmed glasses. Dizzy not worried.
          Spends summer in Mexico studying Spanish language, Aztec art, and brown-skinned bonitas.

1959   Pledges Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity in a desperate attempt to be a regular college Joe and “one of the guys." Results were mixed.
Spends summer in Quebec studying French language and cuisine. Falls in love with American pianist he heard practicing the Grieg Piano Concerto in the ballroom of the Chateau Frontenac. She returns to her fiance.

1960      Spends summer as busboy at Unity House in the Poconos where tips were paltry, but the bonus is the shapely and vivacious Ellen Gelpar. They explore the wonderful world of sex together and marry later that year so that they could escape from their families of origin. The "marriage" ended 10 months later when Ellen emptied their bank account and absconded with the grand sum of $132.54. The marriage was later annulled. Today it would be considered just living together without spiritual bond.

1962   Earns B.A. degree in music from CCNY. Fails to graduate cum laude by 1/100 of a point guaranteeing that he won't amount to much.
          New York State Regents Teaching Fellowship goes unused.
          Turns down full scholarship to Brandeis University to do one year of graduate studies at Harvard with Pierre Boulez and Leon Kirchner for full tuition.

1964   Earns M.A. degree from New York University.
          Is hired for a semester as a full-time adjunct instructor at CCNY even though he is only twenty-two years old and knows almost nothing.
    First of many trips to Europe. Arrives on TWA DC-6B and tours England, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, and Germany on a motorbike. After 4000 kilometers on the road he is so brown he is mistaken for a terrorist by Federal Agents at JFK airport.
    Buys first car, a Triumph TR 4a.

1965    Begins four years of teaching music in NYC high schools in order to avoid the Viet Nam Era draft: Stuyvesant, Lincoln, Sheepshead Bay, and Julia Richman.     
          Teaches at CCNY in the evening.
          Marries the amazing Roberta, teacher of English at Herman Ridder JHS. The set up home at 740 West End Avenue.

1967       As 6-Day War ends he and Roberta fly to Israel for the first of many trips. Is adopted by Moshe and Zipi Peli and their daughters Liraz and Idit.

1968    Now too old for the draft, he is hired as full-time lecturer at CCNY.
          Serves as Associate Director of Lake Bryn Mawr Camp, Honesdale, PA for three years. Known as "Uncle Steve" to 150 well-to-do Jewish girls lucky enough to spend eight weeks away from home.

1969    Fortran 4-B studies at Queens College Electronic Music Studio with Hubert "Tuck" Howe. Programs Buchla and Moog synthesizers to produce strange sounding music no one wants to hear.

1971    Boulez becomes music director of NY Philharmonic. Jablonsky spends six years observing rehearsals, concerts, and behind the scenes life of a major orchestra. Relinquishes his foolish dream of being its conductor.

1973    Earns Ph.D. degree from N.Y.U. Thesis: “The Development of Tonal Coherence as Evidenced in the Revised Operas of Giuseppe Verdi.”  Martin Chusid, patient and understanding mentor.
          Inducted in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Honor Society.
          Invited by Leon Barzin to be a conducting fellow at the National Orchestral Association (3 years).
          Promoted to assistant professor.
          He and Roberta move to Golden's Bridge in Westchester County.

1974    Receives Founders Day Award for scholarship from N.Y.U.
       Begins two years of psychotherapy that finally enables him to walk and chew gum at the same time.

1975    Receives National Endowment for the Arts Composers Fellowship for “Wind Sextet.”
          Serves as music adviser for Camera III (CBS) series devoted to modern music conducted by Boulez.

1976    Participant in Exxon/Affiliate Artists Conducting Program. Auditions for assistant conductor posts at Buffalo and Rochester. No soap.
His “Wisconsin Death Trip” is performed by NY Philharmonic and Milwaukee Symphony.
          Becomes ASCAP member.
          Conducts City Symphony at Town Hall. "Music By New Yorkers for New Yorkers." Soloists: John Lewis and Judith Raskin.

1977   Inspired by the work of Vladimir Fuka he develops concept of Musigraphics—artistic analyses of musical compositions and produces more than three dozen works in that vein.

1978    With wife, Roberta, founds Lifetime Learning Systems, Inc. the nation’s leading publisher of corporate-sponsored educational materials. Serves for twelve years as creative director and CFO.

1979    He and Roberta move to Staples Road in Easton CT.

          “The Two Stephen Jablonskys.” Bridgeport Jewish Community Center presents two-man show of photographs by Stephen Jablonsky the engineer from Stratford and Musigraphics by Stephen Jablonsky the composer from Easton who met quite by accident thanks to UPS.

1982    Sabbatical year and a half from CCNY. Enrolls in Family Counseling degree program in Bridgeport University. After 28 credits of course work and six-month internship he drops out because he realizes he is too young and inexperienced to counsel anyone about life.

1983    Promoted to associate professor.

1986    Lifetime Learning Systems is sold, but he and Roberta continue to run the company until 1990. A four-year non-compete clause in the sale contract keeps them out of the business until 1994.

1990    One-man show of paintings, The Landmark Gallery, sponsored by the Stamford Art Association.

1991    One-man show of paintings, The Landmark Gallery, sponsored by the Stamford Art Association.
       Purchases first personal computer.

1992        Begins composing computer-generated music using his Mac Quadra 900, Korg O/1W synthesizer and Vision software.

1994    Serves for three years as CFO and creative director of Youth Media International founded by business mogul wife, Roberta. Replicates success of Lifetime Learning Systems.

1995    Enters psychotherapy to discover the source of his fear and anger that, apparently, was well hidden because it took four years and $40,000 to find it. Comes to understand the nature of addictive behaviors and forgives himself in the process. Later he forgives everyone else including his parents.

1998    Separates from Roberta and moves to Stamford.
           With the help of his high school dream girl he works through the last stages of his psychotherapeutic process and retires from the emotional judgment business.

1999    Writes three educational resource guides for art, music, and communication/technology teachers for Disney’s “Fantasia 2000.” Published by Youth Media International and is still available on the Internet.
           Divorced from Roberta.

2001    First listing in “Who’s Who in America.”

2002    Becomes chairman of the Music Department, and, at age 60 has to slowly learn a whole new profession. Nine years later he is still learning, proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

2003    Writes “The Use of Tonic Delay in the Context of Extreme Chromaticism. ” As yet unpublished.
          Marries Korean-born beauty, Tina Sophia Lee, singer, dancer, chef extraordinaire.

2004    “Introduction aux graphes de tonalité: Le cercle chromatique des quintes,” Musurgia, Volume X/3-4, pp. 91-104.
          “Thinking Harmonically at the Keyboard” is published privately.

2005    His textbook, “Tonal Facts & Tonal Theories” is published by Kendall/Hunt with accompanying Theory I Workbook.
         “Wagner’s Harmonic Game Plan in the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde,” is accepted by International Journal of Musicology. As yet published.
        “The All-Star Rhythm & Pitch Book” published by Kendall/Hunt.
        Because no one else wants the job he is re-elected to a second term as chair.

2006    The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers, Prometheus Books. Writes chapter: “Fibonacci and Musical Form,” published 2007, pp. 271-91.
           Theory II Workbook for Tonal Facts& Tonal Theories is published.

2007    “Rainbow Quartet Revisited” is premiered by the Momenta String Quartet.
          “Seven Early Pieces for Piano” is premiered in Taiwan.

2008    Completes 40 years as full-time teacher at the City College. With certainty, he learned more than his students.
          Is re-elected for third term as chair of the Music Department.
          In August celebrates 2/3 of a century of good luck and good health followed immediately by spinal stenosis and a bum knees. Onset of much humility. Athroscopic surgery repairs torn meniscus. The spinal stenosis is a daily reminder that all learning involves pain.

2010   June: Finishes his 92nd semester of teaching and eighth year as chair of the Music Department. So far no one has caught on.
         Attains the ripe old ago of 69--a numerological reminder that he and the fates have embraced each other for what seems like a very long time. In geological time it has been just the blink of an eye.

Automotive History

If it is true that you are what you drive then make of this what you will. Here is the list of the 30 cars I have owned since the State of New York was foolish enough to issue me a driver's license.

1964    Triumph         TR4-A    white
1964    Ferrari           330 America GT 2+2    red
1966    Ford              Mustang GT    red
1970    Toyota           Corona station wagon    light blue
1974    Volkswagen    Dasher    dark blue
1975    Volkswagen    Scirroco    white
1976    Chevrolet       Corvette    buckskin
1979    Volkswagen    Scirroco    silver
1979    Mazda            RX-7    white
1980    Pontiac           6000 STE    silver
1982    Volkswagen    Scirroco (turbo)    grey
1983    Cadillac          Seville    dark blue
1984    Mercedes       380 SL    silver
1985    Pontiac          6000 STE    silver
1985    Mazda           RX-7    silver
1986    Cadillac         Seville    silver
1988    Pontiac         6000 STE    silver
1989    Lincoln         Continental    silver
1991    Nissan         300 ZX    silver
1992    Lincoln        Continental    silver
1995    Nissan        300 ZX    silver
1995    Acura         2.5 TL    silver
1995    Acura         2.5 TL    black
1997    Lincoln       Continental    autumn haze
1997    Acura         3.2TL    black
2000    Acura         3.2TL    black
2002    Acura         3.2TL    dark blue
2004    Acura         3.2TL    Green
2007    Acura         TL    dark blue
2010    Nissan        Maxima  Crimson Black