The Trophies, The Car Crash & McDonalds

"Hurry up mom, we'll be late!" I stuttered, total engrosed with getting my uniform tidy and my tie nice and straight. To this day I dont know why as I took it off along with the jacket for the 45 minite car drive to the Conservitorium of Music on Sydney Harbour.
"Here we go Joe, parking nice and close" .... "I hope you havnt forgotten your music" mother said with a smile knowing that they were in the trumpet case. We were greated at the front door by my bandmaster, a very cheary fellow who had all the time in the world for anybody who liked music regardless of their ability. "I hope you have "my" trumpet" Chris exclaimed, "That trumpet has won many championships in this building as well as being played in the Opera House" "You better take care of it!".
Mother and Chris had struck a deal on the side some months ago as I only had use of "loan & return" trumpets before... during 1st stage resitals for the Australian Championships Chris came over to me and said "Here Joe, use my trumpet.... that the school trumpet is not able to keep a nice pitch". Mother came to pick me up at 9.30pm like she had done every tuesday and thursday at our local band hall.... "Joe?" mother said in a questioning tone of voice, "thats not the school trumpet, is it?" .... knowing full well that it wasnt, "No it's not" I replied, "Chris let me play it tonight and it is the most beautifull trumpet I have ever held!"... "So you like it?" "But do you like enough to want it?" mother asked, I said that this was a concert trumpet with the sweetest of tone and unfortunately would be far to expensive! Chris jumped in with huge chuckles "Well Joe, I told your mother if you were good enough to make it to the Australian Championship Finals that I would sell it to you for a very fair price, you have made the top 10 in Australia and the trumpet is yours!!!"
Standing at the footsteps of the Conservitorium with mother and Chris I turned to them both and said "Chris, your trumpet will win another championship today" as we headed up the stairs. Reaching the top and going through the foyer we reached the main concert hall. The excitement was now overflowing, mother continualy repeating "Breath Joe, focus on your breathing... keep it deep inside with solid strong breaths, then when your standing in front of these 1000 fellow competitors, piers and judges... simply blow me a kiss take a deep breath and rip into it".
I was the forth last person to perform in the Under 16's Class and last to perform in the Open Age Class.
I played the same piece for both catagories "Etude de Condors"... I will never foget it. I was extremely anxious performing this piece in the Under 16's as it was rated the highest difficulty for the age bracket, I thought I played well but didnt think much else of it as there were 3 outstanding performers before me. 1 1/2 hours later came my turn in the Open Age bracket. By this time I was very at ease after watching everyone else, afterall I only put in for the "Opens" as Chris said he thought I would have a chance to better myself. So with all this running around in my mind I didnt feel any pressure at all... I did exactly as mother had told me, blew her a kiss - deep breath - then let it rip! When I had finished there was what seemed like 2 minites of silence then the whole conservitorium erupted, I could feel such a rush inside.... I knew I had hammered that piece to the wall.
5pm came and time for the results. Mother was sweating and rocking, clutching at my palms and tapping my legs then we heard the announcement from the judges.. "Under 16's 3rd place goes to Joe" ........ woowhooo... yyaaawwhhoooooo .... then later "The Australian Open Age 2nd place goes to Joe" ........ mother was jumping more than I was, almost embarresing it was.... "im going to take you and your trophies to McDonalds for a celebration!" mother shouted with joy.
We headed home and mother realy wanted to take me to Macca's for dinner so we did a little detour 5 miles from home heading to the local Macca's. We both were still jumping up and down, yelling to each other having a grand celebration when out of nowhere we were "T" boned by a small truck crashing into my passenger door and the rear door. Mother managed to drive the car off the intersection to the side of the road. We both got out very shaken and startled as like "what just happened then?" only to see the rear passenger door had been crushed in and had destroyed my trophies... "It doesnt matter" mother nervously said, " We are still going to Macca's its only 1 block away and we are going to celebrate your great achievement."
The police, towtrucks and ambulance arrived within minites. The police did the paperwork thing and booked the driver of the small truck, the paramedics looked us all over and gave the all clear, the towtruck drivers had a mini fight over who get to tow the truck away as the police and mother said our car was drivable as long as it was a 1 way trip home. Mother explained the situation to the police and they escorted us to Macca's where we shared bigmacks with the police officers before they followed us the remaining 3 miles home.
I went on to play a trumpet solo on that very same trumpet at The Sydney Opera House in 1980 for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit here. Mother in the crowd still jumping and cheering.


Dorie said...

I wish I had know all about that! Sounds wonderful!


Dorie said...

This is exciting! Wish you had told me! Congratulations although a little late :)


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