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Billy Jack Long

  • Born: August 10, 1957, in Riverside, California
  • Married: July 13, 1985, in Rialto, California, to Indra (divorced 2005)
  • Parents: Billy Joe Long/ Virginia Ruth (Woods) Long
  • Children: two adolescent daughters
  • Residence: Riverside, California
  • Religion: Christian.
  • Education: M.M., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; B.M., California Baptist College; also graduated  from the U.S. Army Element, (U.S. Navy) School of Music, Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base; Presently a studying Elementary Education (for an M.A.T.) at Chapman University.  Additional study: University of Guam, Tennessee Technological University, Cal State Long Beach, Central Jersey Bible Institute, Riverside Community College, and San Bernardino Valley College.  Certificates in Computer Science from Apple Computer and holder of a California Life Insurance License.  Graduated from Colton High School in 1975.
  • Occupation: Educator/Tuba Player (member Professional Musicians Local 47)
  • Resume: Taught school in Texas, California, Indonesia, and Guam.  Professionally played tuba for chamber music, symphonies (including the Guam Symphony), circuses, rodeos, U.S. Army band, civilian bands, studio recordings, broadcasting, ballets, and opera.  Organizer of TubaChristmas for the Riverside-San Bernardino area (2000-2004).  Have been active as a tuba player in church music ministry, which has a large mass instrumental ensemble, as well as a regularly functioning tuba group.
  • Tuba Teachers: the late Everett Gilmore, Larry Johansen, Jim Self, David Jacobsen, Steve Klein, Winston Morris, Tommy Johnson, Jim Jorgenson, Paul Oxley, Gene Pokorny.
  • Hobbies: Collecting things, studying history, computers, writing, nostalgia, trains, international travel, and international communication.
  • Keep scrolling down  :)

    Tuba Playing in Indonesia

    This picture was taken in December 1995 in Indra's hometown of Parakan, Central Java, Indonesia, in the Chinese Cemetery. I was teaching school (instrumental music and English) near Bogor (about 30 miles south of Jakarta) and we often visited my wife's relatives during school breaks.  I was talking to my sister-in-law, Tina, about how I would like to play my tuba somewhere different (and I really love this old cemetery; some relatives are buried here), so we loaded up the Kijang (an Indonesian SUV) and we all went to the cemetery.  The water buffaloes were the most appreciative audience I ever had for an impromptu recital!


    Bill was a tuba player with the 298th U.S. Army Band of the Berlin Brigade (1979-81)

    The patch of the Berlin Brigade was similar to the original black flaming sword emblem designed by General Dwight D. Eisenhower for the U.S. Army in Europe (USAEUR), with the addition of the word, "Berlin," at the top.  The black was changed to blue, which represents peace (black represents war and chaos).  If you saw the movie The Glen Miller Story (1953), starring Jimmy Stewart, the band wore the wrong patch; they should have been wearing the black one!

    Every U.S. service member stationed in West Berlin for more than 90 days was awarded this handsome ribbon which represents the WWII Army of Occupation Medal.  Bill's father, Billy Joe Long, received this same medal for duty in Sasebo, Japan, in 1946.  Incidentally, the medal itself bears an image of Mount Fuji.  It's so flat in Berlin that they say on a super clear day you can look about 6,500 miles to the east and see Fuji!


    From the end of World War Two until three years after the Berlin Wall was razed by the local citizens, the Berlin Brigade of the United States Army protected the freedom of everyone who lived in that city.  All members of the Berlin Brigade (as well as members of the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard, who served as liaison personnel) received the WW II Army of Occupation Medal, entitling them to the same rights and privileges as all veterans of World War II.  Bill welcomes any questions about what it was like to live 125 miles inside the Iron Curtain in one of the freest cities of Europe as a member of one the most elite units in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.  He says he wasn't so elite himself, just lucky enough to be stationed in Berlin, Germany! 

    One of Bill's " fondest" memories of Berlin was the Berlin Duty Train.  The American train left Berlin's Lichterfelde Train Station at 10:00 p.m. and arrived at Frankfurt's Hauptbahnhof before the roosters crowed.  There was also a train to Bremerhaven and Bremen.  The British Forces had a day train to Braunschweig (Brunswick) on the West/East German frontier.  The French had a direct train to Strasbourg, France.  Bill never took the French train but he rode the British Military Train often, both privately and with the 298th Army Band.  The British train had a full dining car while the American train had vendors who sold overpriced instant coffee, half sandwiches, and miniature candy bars.

    Updated November 13, 2005