Forrest Helmick was born on November 15, 1957. His parents, Dean and Ida were loving people. They adored Forrest. Forrest has a brother, Walter, and a sister, Margo. Forrest was always proud of his family. He loved to talk about Dean’s football career and how he played at Southwestern University and was later drafted to play pro football and how World War 2 put an end to that. He was proud of his mother Ida for being a wonderful teacher and later known as a powerful prayer warrior. He was proud of his brother Walter, a football star at McLane High School who later became a successful businessman. He was proud of his sister, Margo, a highly regarded high school teacher and loving mother. He fondly remembered visiting his grandmother in Exeter and Dean’s relatives in Kansas.  Forrest started Kindergarten at Scandinavian School in 1962. His mother Ida was the third grade teacher there for years. Somewhere around the 4th grade Forrest began to play the trumpet and participate in the school band. When it came to the trumpet, Forrest’s parents always encouraged him and loved to hear him practice. Their house was filled with sounds of the big bands playing on the stereo along with the fiery trumpets of Louis Armstrong and Al Hirt. Forrest began taking private trumpet lessons from Harlow Hosford, who was also his teacher at Tioga Middle School. Forrest attended Tioga Middle School from 1969-1972. Aside from Harlow Hosford, Forrest was blessed to have been taught by other talented trumpet players in school. They include Harry Buyuklian at Hoover High School, Gilbert Rodriguez, at Fresno City College, and Dr. Ritchie Clendenin at Fresno State. Forrest spoke affectionately of all his trumpet teachers. In high school Forrest played in the school orchestra, jazz band and concert and marching band. He was also active in the drama department as well. Forrest graduated from Hoover High School in 1975. In the fall of 1975 Forrest began attending Fresno City College and was very active in the music program there.  Forrest spent around 5 years attending City College before transferring to Fresno State in 1980. During some of his early college days, Forrest worked at a movie theater.  Forrest also made money playing in rock bands during those years. At Fresno State he participated in the marching band, wind ensemble, and jazz band. One of Forrest’s favorite memoires was the Wind Ensemble’s tour of Japan in 1982. He also loved talking about his time playing in the school’s Traditional Jazz Band under the direction of Sandy Schaefer. Forrest graduated from Fresno State in the late 80’s with a degree in music education. 

In August of 1983 Forrest with the encouragement of Fresno Bee columnist Woody Laughnan, put together the Blue Street Jazz Band to play at the Third Annual San Joaquin Valley Dixieland Jazz Revival in Hanford, California. The date of that first performance was October 15, 1983. Forrest was 25 years old at the time. Many wonderful things transpired from that date as God blessed the band and here we still are 40 years later. The band has enjoyed many successes playing countless jazz festivals all over America.  Around 1984 Forrest served briefly as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Musicians Union Local 210. Forrest’s first job in education was teaching music at Riverdale High School. This was around 1987. He was there for one year. Forrest then worked for a few years as a substitute teacher and in 1995 Forrest started working for the Central Unified School District as a music teacher. He was the music teacher at Biola Elementary School for many years. He retired in 2021. Forrest had a few false starts in his life when it came to love, but in 2004 he found the love of his life when he had a chance meeting with Patrice Yakovetic. They had gone to junior high and high school together and had both played in the school bands. Patrice played the piano in a concert style and was an accomplished flutist. With their natural compatibility along with their mutual love of music, they were a match made in Heaven. Patrice and Forrest were married on July 4, 2005. With Patrice, Forrest gained a daughter with Tamrin Holscher, a brother with Pete Yakovetic, and a son-in-law with Eric. Forrest always spoke highly of them. When Blue Street was out of town, Forrest was constantly on the phone with Patrice and often times just seconds before the downbeat he would be saying goodbye to her. At the Sunday Gospel Service, Forrest would leave his phone on so she could hear the service and hear him play HOW GREAT THOU ART. Patrice passed away on Thursday, June 7, 2018, after a long illness. Forrest is also preceded in death by his father Dean on March 7, 1998 and mother Ida Vee on February 13, 2014. Forrest left us Decemver 29, 2023.