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As with most kids of my generation, my parents read me "Golden Books" at bedtime. Only one stuck with me and I still have it to this day. It is called "Little Boy with a BIG HORN".  This is the story about a small boy named Ollie who plays the Sousaphone but knows only one song.   His practicing drives his parents and the neighbors completely crazy so he is relegated to far flung locations. Even in those locations the animals are annoyed. Finally he saves an ocean liner full of people from sure death by filling in for an out-of-order bell buoy during a heavy fog. The people are so grateful they pay to have him sent away to music school. From that early age I knew the tuba was for me.

I was never too crazy about marching band.   I went to a "two tuba" rural high school. So naturally I was relegated to the old 40lb brass sousaphone while the upper classman got the shiny new 18lb fiberglass one. There is only one advantage to playing sousaphone in a marching band and that is getting to be in the last row. When you see the column in front of you deviating wildly from a straight line during a parade, that tells you one of the horses in front has let go. You get plenty of reaction time!!!  Otherwise, marching band means cold mouthpieces, a sore left shoulder, and dodging wadded up cups aimed at the bell.

Concert and swing bands were my cup of tea. Seated is the way I like the tuba best. Fortunately, the upperclassman departed when I was a sophomore and I got that light, white sousaphone. I made first chair in the [Eastern Shore of Maryland] "All Shore Band" that year, but alas that would be my swan song to the tuba. Shortly thereafter a new phenomenon appeared called, "The Beatles".  I said, "Adios" to the tuba and switched to electric bass.  I got quite good at the electric bass and it provided me with lots of good times and great memories. But I was always sorry to have hung up the tuba. You see, tuba is one of only a few band instruments that are so expensive the schools loan them to the students. So I had no way to keep up after I dropped out.

On one recent Christmas a tuba appeared under the tree with my name on it. It is a post Civil War vintage Eb tuba that looks like it could have gone through a war...but it's mine!  I don't yet practice enough, but I still have hopes of getting "it" back one day soon. Perhaps TubaChristmas 2005 will be the impetus. Check out the tuba links below and especially check out TUBACHRISTMAS.  See you there???

A new member of the Bass family has arrived. The BSX Allegro Acoustic Electric Upright Bass. After years of wanting to, I am now trying my hand at learning arco style (bowing) a String Bass. More on this neat instrument once I form an opinion. In the mean time, for more info, check out the BSX Bass link below.

 

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Extremis Minumus and Maximus
Lil Sistah

"Pocket" Piccolo Tuba

Big Mutha

BBBb Sub-Contrabass Tuba

Rock Me

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