5. Music Finale

Bob - Band uniform

5. Music Finale

School started again and my wonderful life continued blossoming! I earned first chair trumpet in the marching band. On my previous birthday, Daddy had proudly presented me with a shiny new French Selmer cornet, the finest instrument of the day! I won medals at State music festivals, and the Assistant Band Director at Michigan State University invited me to take lessons with him…was I flattered!

My life was all planned in my mind. I would become a professional musician, or a band director, and play my horn the rest of my life. Scouting and music were the center of my wonderful life!trumpet

During my childhood we attended the Church of Christ in town. The Hicks family was the Sunday School orchestra; Mom on the piano, Daddy played violin, my sister Jan played saxophone, I played trumpet, and an elderly gentleman played a lap tuba.

One of the kids, Ivan, became my life-long friend. We sang in the choir, and when the electricity went off, Ivan and I pumped the big bellows backstage so the pipe organ would work.

One day at home, as I walked into the living room, I fell! I just lost my balance and fell down! I fell again the next day, and Mom dug out Grandpa’s old cane so I could get around. Something was drastically wrong!

After a couple of days, I could not walk. The doctors in the small towns nearby were unable to diagnose my problem, so my aunt took me to Chicago, where a doctor friend of hers got me in to the University of Chicago Clinics Department of Neurology.

For the unfolding of a dramatic moment in my life, come back tomorrow!

5 thoughts on “5. Music Finale

  1. Ivan Cottrell

    Goodness Bob, you forgot I played the tenor sax in C of C Orchestra. Jan played alto sax. This was a long beginning for me as, after high school, I auditioned for Mich State Univ marching band and played at most of the Big Ten Schools as well as the Rose Bowl Parade and game. Those were wonderful experiences and fun… Ivan

  2. Sue Sauer

    Oh the fun in the IHS band!!! All I could do was gang away on the glockenspiel, since the braces on my teeth restricted me from trying clarinet or other instrument. I did enjoy piano, tho’. Marching band – – remember the formations? We thought we were pretty good, I think. By today’s standards, our maneuvers were so simple. But we ENJOYED our band times. And Nelson S. put forth a lot of effort in training us. We enjoyed dance band, too – choir – for a small school we did have a lot of nice opportunities.
    It’s hard for me to recall the onset of your illness, tho’ it was much harder for you to go through it. I can’t imagine the challenges. Thank God you went to Chicago to a neurology specialist!

  3. John White

    Hey Bob,

    I played trumpet from 5th to 7th grade, but unlike you, I was not particularly talented at it. In fact, I describe my time in band as playing 5th trumpet in a 3 chair band. When I was 16 I studied guitar for 2 years, and got so I could play well enough to sing along with myself; but my next door neighbor after 2 weeks without lessons was already better than I was. Discouraging. I continued playing till I went off to college but pretty much quit after that. From kindergarten to high school I had probably 11 years worth of band, piano, guitar, choir, etc. but never really learned to read music. I did become a fairly decent “site guesser” though!
    And you are doling your story out much too slowly! I want more! 🙂 Keep it up, it is interesting!

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