Christmas Day will be here in one week. On Christmas morning 47 years ago, a Monday, I was 12 years old and sitting next to my father on the couch as he opened a gift from my maternal grandfather. Dad is laughing and I’m laughing AND slightly shocked/embarrassed because the gift was a ceramic ashtray shaped like a man’s hand doing what we used to call “shooting a bird” and today is usually referred to as the middle finger salute. Even as my mother was taking the picture she was saying, “Don’t look Jeff, don’t look!” Too late, mom.
That’s my trombone case in the background; not sure why it’s in what was our living room instead of my bedroom. I had just entered 7th grade the previous September and, following a summer spent in Beginner Band, was the first chair trombonist and I practiced all the time so maybe I had been practicing the night before.
And please, no comments about how hard I’m rockin’ that plaid robe.