My senior year in high school I signed up to be the pianist in Jazz band. At school I always played the French horn for everything, and was looking forward to using some of my other talents and to something different as well. I had talked with our band director and he had agreed that I, and one other person, should be the Jazz pianists.
On my first day of class I entered the band room to find three girls hovered around the piano. I recognized the one I was to co-play with, and to our amazement the other two girls were there to play piano as well. they just hadn’t asked our band director’s permission.
Mr. E started called the class to order and scanned over everyone assembled and ready to play, “We end up with four pianists and no one to play trombone. How on Earth did that happen?” He thought for a moment and disappeared into his office. When he came out he had a book and a trombone, though no one really noticed as we were all chatting once he disappeared.
“J-” he called to me. “Here’s a trombone and here’s a beginner’s book, go teach yourself how to play and then come and join us. You can be our lone trombone player.”
Well, I had wanted something different, but not quite like that. I did learn to play it passably well however, and by the end of the year I finally accepted all the jazz solos Mr. E kept trying to push on me. I don’t think I could remember how to play a trombone now, but it sure would be fun to try if we had one.