Jack's Story


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1. Forever Waiting.

Jack’s story Chapter One. Forever Waiting.

   I was just leaving the house when my dad, Peter, called out to me, “Don’t forget Jack there’s a rehearsal this afternoon.”

   Oh, damn and blast I thought. I had arranged to meet up with both Josh and Dave to go through the music we were going to play on Saturday evening at the gig.

    We had left school in June once our final exams had taken place and on receiving our results in August, we had decided to have a gap year to see the world before going to university.

So, to finance our travels we all got jobs. We also formed a jazz trio, playing gigs to earn extra money, but we hadn’t given up on the orchestra yet.

  That afternoon at the rehearsal I was still thinking about our gig. When I suddenly realised, Oh my god! I had forgotten to wake the old bugger up. He’s going to miss his cue again! There’s going to be trouble. Dad, is about to call for the cymbals and Gramps is fast asleep. That was a near thing, he saw Gramps just in time and waved his baton a few bars before he was needed, causing the music to stop. He then moved on to another piece to practice, not before giving me that look, Bloody hell! It’s not my fault, thank goodness it only a rehearsal.

    Gramps wasn’t the only old one in the school orchestra. Dad and a few of his friends had approached the school music department a few years back, which jumped at the chance of having professional musicians mentor us youngsters.  

   Unfortunately, Gramps was well past his sell by date and was always falling asleep however loud the music got. My problem was how to wake him without too much noise. If I just nudged him he would start shouting, “Where am I?” Not bad, if you wanted to disturb everyone else.

   The only thing, I could think of, was to bring him closer to my drums, so they would either keep him awake, a fat chance of that happening, or drown out his shouting when waking up.

  Although moving him might be a good idea, I think dad, our conductor, would not approve due to his perception of sound. That ear of his had caused us enough problems, it was only last month that he insisted. Jim, who played the double bass, should move fifty centimetres to the left.

   Sod it! You can’t please everyone. Anyway, it’s worth a try. Being that near would enable me to continually prod him with my drum stick, or I could hit him over the head with it which I was sorely tempted to do.

   We, the percussion boys, were in the dog house, all because of last week. It was Gramps again. He was snoring away, when he developed this whistle, which got louder with every breath. It was followed by a lip drum roll when he released the air. It was so funny that we could not stop laughing and everyone missed their cue that evening.

   We got a good telling off, all about how we should conduct ourselves, it didn’t matter whether we were just amateurs and only played for nothing, we should act more professionally. 

   At Christmas time, there was the ‘Yule Tide’ concert in the town shopping centre. That was a hoot. It was held next to the big department store’s father Christmas Grotto and all through our playing, we had to compete with its noise of ho ho ho and the peal of hand bells. The only good thing about it was even Gramps couldn’t sleep through that noise, so was thankfully awake when it came to his turn to play.

   The boys and I did really well, money wise. We got asked to play at a couple of gigs and, also, got lots of work restocking shelves at night. Not only for Christmas but for the winter sales afterwards.

   Sadly, during one rehearsal I got quite a shock when Gramps didn’t wake up when I poked him with my drum stick.

   At the funeral Dad got a few of us to play a short piece to show our respect.

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