As threatened, here’s an update on my music career. When we left off, I was on the eve of my Gasse School of Music recital. That morning, my piano teacher added some flourishes to my two songs: “Love is here to Stay” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” I never felt more ready for a performance.

We went to a River Forest home where I would be the only student playing a non-cello instrument. A grand piano awaited me in the living room. It would be like driving a Cadillac after years behind the wheel of a Saturn. When it was my turn to play, I started out confidently enough. In my haste, though, I played the second verse of “Love” before playing the first verse.

A seasoned performer would have shouldered on but I stopped, announced to the hushed audience that I’d played the second verse first and started over. My confidence seeped out, replaced by panic. Stumbling badly on my second attempt, I had to start the song a third time. Public practice made perfect, I finally got through it, flourishes and all. Like a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, I have no recollection of how I survived the second song.

“There are no mulligans on stage,” I was told when I recounted the tragedy at my next Lemurs rehearsal. I vowed to avoid do-overs in the future. However, during a gig we played at Carole’s, I couldn’t get the introduction to “On Broadway” right and gave up after repeated attempts. Seeing no future in the music business, I picked up my keyboard and left.

Wouldn’t you know the Lemurs would flourish in my absence? They beefed up the original lineup of Crusty, Just Dan and Rockin’ Robin by adding a bass player, drummer and a third guitarist. They rocked a packed house at the Friendly Tap in Berwyn. Meanwhile, I turned in my keyboard stand to Just Dan, my touring days officially over.

Things went from bad to worse, when I had to discontinue my piano lessons due to the economic downturn. No more Saturday mornings with my teacher, Hulya, and running home to show my family my newest sticker.

Desperate for feedback on my playing, I auditioned for my piano-playing neighbor. She noted that I’d improved, since I could now find middle C. Feeling encouraged, I expanded my repertoire to 30-plus songs and continued to play them every night.

I even have an audience now. Yes, the squirrels have returned. They still pound the walls to protest my playing, especially when they hear me starting over.