By Rosemary Pollock
LDS Musician Has Regular Gig -- at Hospital
LOGAN, UTAH -- A fun afternoon for Forest Turner of Logan, Utah, is spending
the day at Logan Regional Hospital, singing and playing the guitar for
dialysis patients. Turner, a native of Cove, was looking for an opportunity
to give community service after returning from a mission to Alabama for The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Now, eight months later,
patient requests have kept Turner returning for weekly visits.
"I started in TCU (Transitional Care Unit), but then other people would
invite me to come to their areas," he said. "I went to pediatrics, and sang
with the kids, and then a nurse came and asked me, 'Could you go and play
for the dialysis patients?' That's how I got into it," Turner explained.
"They really like 'Will the Circle be Unbroken,' 'Red River Valley,' 'Home
on the Range,' classics like that," Turner said. "They also like the Corvett
song I do. Those are the ones I get requests for every time I come," he said.
Nurse Sally Tarbet, welcomes Turner's songs and sees them as a needed break
for the patients. "I think it gives them a break and takes their mind off
why they're here," she said. "Most of them are here three times a week, for
four hours at a time, so dialysis is a big part of their lives. "It's really
nice to have the little break he gives them," Tarbet said.
However, on occasion, Turner runs into someone who would rather not hear a
song. "One time I came and this lady said, 'I don't want any songs today; I
don't want any music,' and she said it really mean," Turner explained. "The
next time I went, I just poked my head in and said 'I know you don't want a
song, I just thought I'd say 'hi'. She was much nicer and she said, 'Oh, OK,
After years of listening to his father play, Turner taught himself to play
the guitar. "I had tried to learn before, but I didn't stick with it," he
said. "One day, I heard the Beatles' song, 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' and I
thought 'I've got to learn to play.'"
Turner's service has taken him to the physical therapy department in the
hospital. "Mostly I'm just watching and learning, because I'm thinking about
going into physical therapy in school," he said. "Plus, I just found out I
have tendinitis so it hurts my hands to play too much. But I'm definitely
going back, maybe the last weekend of every month. If I can't play for them,
I will at least sing for them. I loved how I felt - I'd go in and play for
three hours, and I'd come out feeling like I didn't do a thing. They just
enjoyed the music."
Hospital singer cheers patients
Logan UT Herald Journal 3Sep01 P2
By Sally H. N. Wright