Howlin’ Trumpets!

My father playing the trumpet, taken the day after his and Greta’s sing-along.

Positive Affirmation Statement – well, more of an uplifting story, but I think of it as a “you can keep going” story.

When my dad was in high school, he played trumpet. Really, really well. He was the youngest member of both orchestras in Caronport at the time and a first-chair player.

He loved the trumpet, too. Picked up a nasty little one in grade three when he heard it in concert and thought, “that’s the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.” Naturally, he did not make the most beautiful sound he’d ever heard on his first attempt. He was actually convinced the trumpet was broken.

Well, he keeps practicing. He does some shenanigans with his friends (this is a consistent theme, see, and joins more bands. Somewhere along the way, he meets John Hildebrand. John was the father of my dad’s best friend and a very competent musician. John conducted all the bands and orchestras for college, high school, and the community.

My dad looked up to John. John saw potential in my dad. He taught him for years.

And then, he and his wife died in a car crash.

Arguably, this caused the decline of music in Caronport. Especially music (among other things) for my father. He gave up the trumpet and spent his time giving the two Hildebrand brothers – his best friends – a home.

I don’t think he intended to touch the trumpet again. After all the years, he was more convinced. “It won’t be the same,” “I can’t do what I did,” and “I have no motivation for it.”

But my dad made the fatal mistake of mentioning that he wanted a creative hobby in the middle of our drive to Calgary. Something other than being an area manager for a group home not-for-profit. My mother saw the opportunity and brought up the trumpet. I hopped on that bandwagon immediately.

And two days ago, my dad played a few notes on the trumpet. Then some more. From what he remembers now, I can see that he would have been really, really good. He still has a ways to go, but he wants to get there. He’d like to, dare I say, re-master the trumpet.

Also, two days ago, our dog, Greta, started to “sing” along with him. I suspect that was some much-needed humour. She now howls during all of his practice sessions.

Greta tries to do an arpeggio with my dad while Nora and I laugh at her.

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