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Pappy and his Trombone

This collection of inspirational stories shows how someone can make a difference in this world. My story is about how as a young boy I gave my grandfather a chance to experience one of his fondest memories. Anyone who has a dream can appreciate this story. Because I lived in a time and place where it was possible, I could help fulfill the dream of a man who meant everything to me. 

Read Pappy and the Bandleader in the Sapphire Collection of Tales2Inspire.

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Pappy and the Band Leader

 Saturdays were collection day on my paper route. That’s how I came to know Mr. Merle Evans, band director for the fabulous Ringling Brothers Barnum Bailey Circus. On tour most of the year, the circus spent the peak winter months in Florida. During those few months many performers, managers, and other members of the circus entourage resided here. Some maintained temporary winter homes but a number of circus families lived year round in the quiet neighborhoods of Sarasota. When Mr. Evans was in town, he often spent hours in the garage behind his home tinkering with some project or another. A car couldn’t fit inside as the building was crammed with wondrous circus memorabilia. Handbills hawking bygone spectaculars; famous trapeze artists, jugglers, clowns and acrobats adorned posters while murals displayed colorful tents, bandwagons, and circus trains. All were pinned and tacked in a patchwork of brilliant color. The colorful montage, interspersed with black and white photos, covered nearly every square inch of garage wall. Mr. Evans invited me into his fantasy world and I gawked with eyes wide and mouth agape as he pointed out the impressive decorations while regaling me with antidotes of the Big Top. One Saturday as I enjoyed Mr. Evans’ hospitality, I told him my grandfather, my “Pappy,” was due to arrive for a visit in a few days and that Pappy played the trombone. He performed with a small band in rural Pennsylvania for many years and was a big fan of circus music, Mr. Evans in particular. Each year during Pappy’s visits we attended at least one, and more often, several performances of the circus. Pappy always reserved seats directly across from the bandstand and reveled in the music. He kept an intent eye on the band leader while humming and tapping his foot in rhythm with the music. 
Mr. Evans grinned and asked, “Why don’t you bring him around next Saturday morning? I’ll give him the fifty-cent tour.”  In my own way that’s what I’d been angling for but hearing the invitation made my heart skip a beat. I remember stammering “Thank you” several times and nearly stumbled over my own feet, while beating a hasty retreat before he changed his mind...

READ MORE in Tales2Inspire, Sapphire Collection available at