Today I got notice that my high school band director died. He was

52. That man was one of strongest influences on my life. I actually

almost majored in music because of him. I have some pretty great

memories too. We had become friends by the time I left school.

Unfortunately we had lost touch since I went off to college.

After he retired from my high school, he got his doctorate and moved up

in the world. He was the head of the jazz music program at Marquette

University. He had been in that position for only a couple years. I

went to high school with both of his children. His daughter was in my

class and I played 1st chair trombone with his son. We sat next to each

other every day.

He taught me what music really is. He taught me how to really play, how

to lead, and how to love music. He even sold me my trombone, a rare

1950's Martin Committee lead trombone. I had intended on selling it

back to him, since it's not getting the use it should be. He had told

me that he wanted it back if I ever thought about selling it.

I had dreams that I would run into him. Every time I went home I would

worry about it. A lot of things have drastically changed about me that

many people in high school don't know about. Some of them probably wont

approve at all...but all the same, I still wanted to meet him again.

Now I wont get that opportunity. His memorial service is this weekend.

I'll be there. I never thought I'd cry, but I am.