Sunday, June 19, 2005


There are certain objects that, over time, become associated with people. Handling those objects can trigger a flood of memories.

Sometimes the object is not a physical one per se; it can be a sound or an action. Regardless, it can work the same magic.

When I see a trumpet, it makes me recall the days in my Runny-Nose Years when my Daddy would take out his old music stand, cover the floor with newspapers, and play the trumpet. This he would do in the room that would become my brother’s bedroom, the papers spread over the hardwood floor to catch the Trumpet Juice that he’d blow periodically from the spitvalve.

Dad was a trumpet player as a young man. He and his bandmates would spend summers working at resorts in the Catskills – the old Borscht Belt. Many years later, after the funeral of a man who lived in his current neighborhood, he got into a conversation with the man’s widow only to realize that he and his band had played at the couple’s wedding reception, all those years ago.

To this day, whenever I see or hear a trumpet, I think of my Daddy. He doesn’t play the trumpet any more, but he still plays the piano every day…and when I hear those old songs, I am transported.

SWMBO’s dad used to smoke a pipe, and after he passed away nineteen years ago, she snagged his collection of pipes from his personal effects. Smelling those old briar pipes and that little leather tobacco pouch conjures up her daddy’s spirit more effectively than any old videotape – of which, regrettably, there are none.

It’s Father’s Day, and I think it’s a perfect time to listen to a little Miles Davis and take a whiff of that old tobacco pouch.

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