Arms outstretched mimics an airplane as he moved through the crowded sidewalk, banking to the right, banking to the left, then right again. Thinning the crowd as he claimed space among pedestrians, he crouched, right hand with drumstick wobbling between soiled fingers then in syncopated rhythm on the concrete sidewalk. Left arm extended skyward, grasping a trumpet flailing through the air. He brings pedestrians to a teetering halt as he drums at their feet. He looks up revealing weathered, sun beaten features, smudged cheeks, and matted disheveled hair. With a twinkle in his eyes, through a snaggletooth grin he asks,“ How are you little lady?” As he stands upright he brings the trumpet to dried lips and begins to blow TAPS. He is no longer invisible. The crowd slows, heads turn, all in full gaze and focused on the player. Time slowed, scurrying had eased to a crawl. And the crowd was forced to attention. TAPS had struck a chord.
Link to TAPS played on a horn
Link to TAPS played on a bugle and its history
“Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh….”