Recently I announced a new series of short memoirs, Stories from My Life. If you missed it, you can read about it here 

There are eight memoirs in the series. The first two are Dream Baby and Asses AnonymousToday I’m introducing Chops, about my search for strength in a trumpet. 

Here’s an excerpt:     

I don’t play the trumpet anymore. I don’t even own one. All that’s left is a mouthpiece I keep in the back of a drawer along with some other odds and ends. I pull out the mouthpiece every once in a while and cradle it in my hand. Somehow I’m always surprised at how heavy it is. I shouldn’t be. 

For fifteen years the trumpet was the central fact of my life. It represented all the things I wanted most: strength, courage, drama, adventure, and a kind of shimmering beauty that was so perfect it made me ache. Also, it was loud. It commanded attention in a way that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t. I was shy and soft-spoken, a quiet boy who did as he was told. But deep inside, in a place I never talked about, I wanted to be rowdy. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be dangerous. With a trumpet, I thought I could be all those things.   

Use this link if you’d like to learn more about Chops. It’s available in paperback and Kindle editions.  

Next month: Forced Air: A Crazed and Troubling Tour of Duty with the 562nd Air National Guard Band.