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Trin Dumlao

(reminiscences by his brother, Sonny)

    When we were kids, we always called him "Junior" because his full name was Trinidad Francis Dumlao, Jr. He was named after his father, first husband of Rose Violet Levoe. It took a lot of effort to break the "Junior" habit and begin to call him Trin.
    Trin's first profession was as a jazz drummer. He would often talk about how his interest in jazz conflicted with the preferences of his high school band instructor. Trin later attended Juilliard. When he joined the Air Force, he was assigned to the Special Services branch as an entertainer.
    From performing music, Trin got into the promotion end of the music industry and represented a number of other entertainers as their agent. It was always a treat when he came through Norfolk with a singer and made the rounds of the radio stations. I remember particularly a singer named Harry who had two recordings--"By the Gun" and "Petoskey Town"--that I thought were great. I remember some of the lyrics of "By the Gun"--"Ridin' hard and ridin' fast, tryin' to stay ahead--Of a reputation that's gonna see me dead--By the gun!
... When I meet a quicker gun who cuts me with his lead, Think about these words I've said and write this by my head--By the gun!"

    When he lived in Texas, Trin had some connection with the making of the John Wayne movie The Alamo. He called us one night to tell us to watch a special on TV about the movie because he was going to be in it. We watched, but if he was shown on camera, it must have been as one of a hundred people shown in the background. He later told us about having lunch with Frankie Avalon on the set.
    When Trin moved back to Norfolk, his experience promoting entertainers served him well when he decided to pursue an advertising career promoting products. That experience in turn led to a career in public relations with the American Cancer Society, which in turn led to a career as the Deputy Secretary of Health for the State of Pennsylvania.
    One of my clearest memories of Trin was being called into the kitchen of his Texas home when we visited there as kids. He had a cigarette in his fingers and threw it onto the floor where he stomped it out. But then, all of a sudden, the cigarette was back between his fingers! He must have picked up that magic trick from a professional magician when he was on the road.
    Trin was the classic example of a man who used persistence and determination to create his own opportunities, especially when Life seemed determined to place obstacles in his way.