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Hey Fella

March 7, 2013

jennybadman

Dad in the middle.

You put yourself through college playing gigs and working odd shifts at the local hospital.

Were you buddies with the other guys in the picture?

Is one of them actually Al Anderson?

In my head I hear you say, “They were all nice fellas.” That was one of your words.

Years later, when I was about eight, you said to six of my boy friends who were playing a bit too rough for your liking, “Hey fellas, take it easy.”

To this day I’m not sure if they stopped because of the inherent authority of your presence, or because they were so startled by the word “fellas.”

You called Steve, my brother, “Ace.”

Even me, once in a while too.

Neither of us knows from where that came.

I imagine you taking a break at that gig in the picture. Outside the back door of this school auditorium? Dance hall? It’s freezing cold, and you’re all hunched over in stiff tuxedos with smoky breaths rising, cigarettes cupped in your hands. You talk about what song to play next, which girl is the prettiest, how much snow will fall.

Isn’t it funny, this life you had? I’ve spent countless years trying to understand the Dad you were. These days I wonder about the younger you…before you were a Dad, a husband, a businessman, a coach. When you were just a horn player. Just a fella.

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11 Comments

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  1. March 7, 2013

    Now you’ve made me wonder about my own dad…who was a horn player…I remember seeing it as a child…never heard him play…his gigs were not where children got to go…and I wonder why he stopped playing? Much to think about now…thanks for the inspiration and the wonderful post about you dad.

    • March 7, 2013

      Thanks for reading. How awesome that your Dad was a horn player, too!

  2. March 8, 2013

    Wow, I love this. What a renaissance man he was – like his daughter.

  3. Laurin #
    March 8, 2013

    Awesome!!

  4. heather joy #
    March 26, 2013

    Love it! You’ll always be one of my favorite writers.

  5. April 6, 2013

    Talking about trumpets, I love the trumpet solo that suddenly peeps out at the end of this reggae song, because it adds an unexpected and delightful jazz touch to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zOwPBykLOE.

    • April 8, 2013

      Very cool!

      • April 9, 2013

        I’m really glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you for your reply! : )

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