Threescore years and ten

and counting.

I’ve hit my Biblical threshold (threescore and ten = 70, in case you don’t remember what a score is). Even though every day before that was a gift, somehow every day since has felt like an extra-special gift. I’m sure that will fade with time, but for now, I’m enjoying the heck out of it. It’s good to feel grateful for being alive… still. Despite everything that’s tried (and trying) to kill me off.

Therefore, I’ve decided I’m going to do a Grandpa.

He took up cello at 68 because he’d always wanted to play it and never had the chance (he played violin and viola as long as I can remember, but cellos are expensive; he came into a small inheritance and bought one, then found and restored the pawn shop one you boys remember [it was later appraised at $10,000], which sounded much better than his “boughten” one, and which your father subsequently ruined by leaving it in the basement. I had to sell it for $250). He enjoyed it immensely for 10 years before he fell over dead one morning.

I’ve always wanted to play saxophone. I was shunted first from bass clarinet (which looks ridiculous on an 8-year-old child) to clarinet, even though I pleaded for sax… because it suited what the band director needed.

Screw that.

I’m looking around for a decent used alto sax and (assuming I can find one; I have a former music-teacher friend and two woodwind repair shops on the lookout for me, but there doesn’t seem to be one single band/orchestral instrument rental/sales place in Abq, which is WEIRD in a city of 800,000, and yes, I’ve contacted the school system) I intend to have a blast playing it. Even used ones aren’t cheap (if I can get a decent one for $700, it’ll be a steal; $900 makes me squeak but is more likely), but I’m living on gifted time. Why not do some things I want to do, have always wanted to do, and enjoy them as much as possible ’til I fall over? Plus, saxes tend to require a more definite touch than clarinets and flutes; hence Trogdor should be less of a problem even if I can’t find a mitigating waveform/frequency (but I think I will).

Yes, I could get a cheap-ass Chinese kit for $200. It would likely require $500 in work to be playable. It would sound like run-over tin cans. Not going there. My ear is too educated for that (remember, I’ve been reading and playing music since I was 2). I want to enjoy this, not fight with it.

Wish me luck in the hunt.

Posted by wordsmith

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