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Ok, so I am not so good at hyping my wares, but I have a new book, the fifth in the Kindred Series (and no not about vampires…). With Kindred Instruments the endeavor is to bring musical instruments to life. Here is one of the stories that I hope you will like. The book is available at Amazon and “other fine outlets…” (I think that’s the way to put it). Or, I can send one to you for the outrageous price of ten dollars.


Horn of plenty.
The harvest.
Guess it’s time you all knew: The gate to heaven… the gate, the one and only gate, not the gates, plural – the entrance, the door way, the place to go to get in, if you get in… is fronted by a saxophone player. Not a trumpet. Not a lute. Not a harp.
Not a cypher. Not a unicorn.
All hail Adophe Sax!
But, what took you all so long to invent me?
1846, June 28 to be exact.
A day you should celebrate, big… way big. Alto sax. Tenor sax. Contralto sax. Soprano sax. Baritone sax.
Diversity is the way.
Take me with you on the march.
Throw me in to the jazz hamper, baby.
Pop me in the orchestra.
Military band, chamber music, or just all by my lonesome.
I am the meal. Everything else is a side dish. And, let’s face it… I can sub for dessert.
Sam, Sammy if you must.
Call me the saxey one. Sax-oh-phone!
You like my scales? If I were a fish, hold me up to the sun – see what I mean? I just leap right out of the sea!
Saxophones glisten. Both in sound and sight.
At rest, I am not at rest – even though there is silence. I can be open and closed at the same time. Unique and versatile. Would that every one of your inventions were as me.
Come on, don’t deny it!
I like having a U at my base. It is from there that I lift up, up, like an offering. Like the harvest.
You can pull my neck off, it’s fine. Easy to transport me that way. I don’t feel any pain, but it should be no surprise at all that we prefer to be attached. My pieces belong together. If you have a puzzle, with parts that don’t fit, you have a mismatch, you have no finished product, and then you never close the gap. That’s not a sequence you want to embrace.
We are most often made from brass. You polish me, and I endeavor to shine for you. You breathe life into me, and we shine together.
Legend has it that when God created the sun he was playing a saxophone. It just came out, gradually, like a beautiful, burning, golden rose. Birth itself. God blew so hard that the universe was like a water fountain, raining all around, still to this day, circulating like wild notes on an eternal merry-go-round, notes dancing up and down the arms and ribbons of the galaxies, splashing against no walls but splashing, like waves against porous and expanding land, that turns to soil that sprouts the foliage, that gives birth to trees, that feeds the birds that soar in the sky.
All right, I got carried away, and I do have a story to tell:

She felt more comfortable along the subway. Maybe because her dad road the subway. When they’d go into town the family would ride the subway. That’s where she heard live music outside her home for the first time.
Her dad taught piano at their house, and had occasional gigs either on his own or with others. He loved music. Worshipped is more like it. Her mom likes painting, but also worked at a clothes store. Both of them day dream a lot, told stories about what they were hoping would happen, what they thought would happen, what they were going to be, and what they were going to do, when they got there.
Her brother left the house as soon as he could, and went right into the Navy. She enjoyed his letters, particularly when he was at sea. She seemed to have inherited her parents’ great ability to daydream. She would think of her brother on a large vessel, on the sea, with a huge sky during the day, and chattering stars at night.
The subway was like a window to her, a window to an underground sea, to a mysterious town, to another stretch of life.

Why a saxophone?

Her dad brought it home, asked if she wanted to try it. He never brought home any other instrument for her to consider. He did not even suggest she try a violin. He said, often, “You tame that baby, you are a master!”
No snake ever came out of any basket.
Smoke rings did not rise from the earth, or spell words in the air.
But the saxophone transported her. It was the voice she most liked. It spoke better than she did, said things more clearly, and had such personality.
By the age of 12, she could bring it. She knew this, and she brought it with ferocity.
It didn’t please her to show off. Instead, it bothered her just to go day by day, as if there was nothing unique she could do. It bothered her to be at school, and focus on the math or the English or the exercises in gym.
She was born to play, and play saxophone is what she wanted to do.

It was a little scary the first time she went to the subway herself. She set up in what she thought was a good spot. She had seen others, so she brought a hat, put it on the walkway, stood and played saxophone. Next time she would bring a folding chair in which to sit on occasion.
The song that seemed to grab the most ears was “What a Wonderful World”. She had a mix of songs, including samba (her personal favorite).
At first her parents were angry when they found out what she was doing, but they had mixed emotions. Each had graduated high school. Each was largely self-taught. They had enrolled her in a music school, and she was fine there, but high school, not.
“We gave birth to one of us, Kevin.”
“Is that so bad?”, he smiled. “Does the stork bring a child who is predictable, to any real degree?”

They did not push her. They did not have to.
A You Tube video was done of her performing in the subway station. It got over 100,00 views in a brief period of time.
Then she wrote a couple songs.
Things got rolling well enough, with job opportunities, enough so she could make a living. In fact she was offered a brand new saxophone. She was told if she would play this saxophone, and wear clothes with the brand name on it, she would make more bucks.
It was exciting. Strange, but exciting.
She immediately took up that new saxophone, and put her original in a corner of her room, on its side, on a blanket. She figured “it’s there if I ever need it again. Maybe for practice, for old times sake…”
She could now afford to get her nails done, if she chose to do so.
She even got to a point where she could buy some clothes herself. Get her hair done. She wasn’t making a killing, but by her standards she was doing well.
And, there was a level of admiration. Like anyone else, she loved praise. She had not always heard positive remarks. She played in the school orchestra, but she was not always told she did well. If anything, she would be scolded for going against the synchronism expected of the musicians. She was not to be an orchestra of one – she was to be a member of an orchestra of quite a few.
Her life was changing quickly. She had a young man interested in her. She got out a bit more. She told her mom and dad that when she reached 18 she might well get her own apartment.

One night she was with her beau. They went on the subway to the harbor area, watched the sun set, got some bread and cheese, shrimp and lemonade.
She heard a saxophone, or thought she did. She turned to see if someone was playing on the pier.
There was a man standing and strumming a guitar, but he was quite a distance from them.
“Must have been a sea gull,” she remarked.
“Sea gull?”
“I thought I heard a saxophone…”
“You’re not going to treat me like your saxophone, are you?”
“You loved your saxophone. The one your dad gave you. Soon as those people offered you their sax and some goodies you dropped that poor guy like a bad cold!”
She had no response. She was actually rather stunned. No, she was hurt. Then she was, like, “Wait a second! I am just trying out this new saxophone, I still have my old guy…”
“Old guy?”
She was visibly irritated by what he said, which he realized, so he put his arm around her and apologized. “I think you took what I said too seriously.”
But, she knew he had a point.
Once she got home, she immediately went into her room, bent down and picked up her original saxophone. She sat on the edge of the bed.
“Sorry, friend, sorry. I got caught up in it. You have been with me from the start. Sorry… I will do better. Tomorrow, let’s go to the subway. Let me polish you a bit. Make sure you look your absolute best.”
She softly played the saxophone until she felt a little better.The next day at the subway station she had more people listening to her than even before. She got more money in her hat than ever before. The whole time (though she couldn’t tell), her saxophone itself was crying. You would call them tears of joy.

A little boy watching, said to his mom: “I see light coming out of the saxophone. Do you see it momma? Maybe even a rainbow!”