In middle school, I signed up for band. I guess it must have been in sixth grade. I was inspired by the intro to The Simpsons when Lisa improvises a solo and is promptly asked to leave the room. I wanted more than anything to play the saxophone. I've always had an affinity for smart girls who do things out of the ordinary and have always tried to be such a girl. But thanks to the popularity of The Simpsons, I was assigned the trumpet.
Getting an instrument wasn't an easy thing. You could buy one or rent one. This meant money that my family didn't have. Renting wouldn't have been so bad if they didn't require credit which my family also didn't have. Fortunately, there were cheap instruments at the pawn shop and in the Green Sheet. Through the former is how I got my trumpet. I remember it cost my dad $150. He was gone for about three days straight probably taking every possible trip he could in his Texas Cab to make that money. It wasn't the most beautiful thing, but it worked fine and I knew it was the best I was going to get. I was grateful and played Hot Cross Buns with pride.
I like to think now that dad spent so much money on my trumpet because I was the only kid in the family that ever took an interest in music. I'm sure my siblings may have wanted to, but they better understood our economic situation. Dad loved music. He would bring his friend Lupe over and they would play guitar and sing well into the early morning often being scolded by my mom that they were keeping us up and we had school the next day. We have cassettes of Tio Kiko and Samuel singing with Dad after Abuelita Gabriela's funeral. They sang El Muerto Murio.
My music endeavor lasted through my sophomore year of high school. Somehow, somewhere, band lost it's appeal for me. I wanted to be good, but I didn't want to practice. Plus, our neighbor complained when I did.
My trumpet is one of the few things I've held onto throughout my many moves. It sits in my closet in it's original case with all of it's accessories, a memento of my father's love.