January 19, 2005. I received the following email from Peter Dammann:
I saw Alan at one of our gigs a week ago. He stayed the whole night, had a blast, seemed as chipper and frisky as ever. Talked about his challenging schedule of gigs over the holidays (something like 17 gigs in 10 days with new age pianist Michael Allen Harrison). When he told me he was turning 90 this year I couldn't believe it, and figured in any case he'd likely outlive everyone of the guys in his son's band. What an amazing character he was.
-Peter Dammann (guitarist for deLay band, also talent coordinator for waterfront blues fest)
Note: Paul Delay can be reached through Peter. He will forward any email messages to Paul.
Allan deLay's 2001 New Jersey Visit
Click on images to get full size.
Mr. deLay was born May 4, 1915. He is currently on his 9th transcontinental trip in his '68 VW Squareback with 440,000 miles! Leaving Portland on June 10, 2001, Allan expects to return home on Sept. 15th. He is really unbelievable in the energy and wit he displays... sometimes I feel like I need a nap to keep up with him, seriously!!!
Allan, a retired Boy Scout Master, is still quite active in Scouting, enjoying his 75th year as a regitered Scout! He has just performed with his "singing saw" for about 47,000 Boy Scouts and adults at the recent Boy Scout Jamboree held outside of Richmond Va.
While visiting NJ, he has performed the national anthem for the Little League state championships in New Milford, NJ and at the Veterans home in Paramus, NJ, as well as some "smaller" performances in the Colina living room.
Allan has performed in many venues small and large including performances for King Karl Gustav of Sweden, with the Oregon Symphony and lots of international points in between. He has played with his son, Harp Maestro Paul deLay, which must be an interesting concoction for sure!
Allan is a World Champion in swimming and diving. The pictures of his medals represent his accomplishments during the 1998-2000 years. At the 1998 Nike World Championships in Portland, enjoying the "homecourt advantage", Allan took two silvers (in 1 meter and Platform diving) and the Gold in the 3 meter diving competition. He is a formidable swimmer specializing in the 50 and 100 meter races but due to scheduling conflicts was unable to compete in both diving and swimming at these games. In 2000, at the State Games of Oregon, Allan took Gold and set new records in the 1 meter and 3 meter diving events as well as the 50 meter swimming event. At the World Masters Championships held in Munich, Germany, Allan took Gold in the 1 meter, 3 meter and Platform diving events. He also took Bronze medals in the 50 meter breastrokes and freestyle. Interestingly, the freestyle event is his forte, but he thought there was a false start and hesitated before diving in. He is proud of this Bronze medal as he had a lot of ground to make up and finished with a medal! In the U.S. there are 119 contestants in his age group (85-89 yrs.) and he is an "All American" in the 50 yard freestyle shortcourse.
Allan is a retired photographer and has a treasure of fantastic pictures that
he has shared with us. He is quite skilled at taking action shots as well as
portraits and on this visit he has brought pictures of interesting people he
has met along the way. These include Elvis, The Beatles, Satchmo, Ella Fitzgerald,
Duke Ellington, Lucille Ball, Archie Moore, Bela Lugosi, Katherine Hepburn,
Presidents Eisenhower, Hoover, Nixon and Family, Kennedy and many more...a real
treat! He is skilled in all facets of photography from portraits to landscapes
(he has tons of "National Geographic" type shots) to action photos. I had the
chance to introduce Allan to the Internet a bit and we found a site that displays
some of his pictures, check out www.portlandjazz.com and look at the "School"
section for some of his shots.
The next Boy Scout Jamboree is in 2005. Allan is probably already making plans for this even though he'll be 90 years old! As I am a big fan of Paul deLay, I hope to visit with Allan sooner than that!