Howling with pain Ron attempted to stand up but the forward momentum of his tuba (sousaphone) caused him to slip off the end of his chair and land on both knees while at the same time the bell of his tuba barely missed dropping over the top of first chair trumpet player Tommy Cooper’s head.  What a  funny sight that would have been!

Instead the bell of the tuba grazed the side of Cooper’s cheek then came to rest on top of his and Bill Acheson’s, (the other first chair trumpet player’s) legs.

Acheson’s ‘fight or flight’ instincts immediately kicked in causing him to pull his body violently to the left which, when he did, his trumpet struck Bethany Steven’s prized cornet bending the second valve.

I heard Bethany yell, “You son of a bitch,” at Bill. Then somehow (i’ll never know how) Bethany’s cornet was floating through space until the mouthpiece .. with the cornet attached to it …  hit Greg Hays (first chair baritone player) on his forehead.

Greg started bleeding about the same time Bethany’s cornet dropped to the floor.

For a split second the room got real quiet as everyone contemplated the the trickle of blood that had curved around Greg’s eye and was slowly running down his cheek.  Greg smeared blood all over his cheek, looked at the tips of his fingers and started laughing.

continued …

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