“I’m keeping kids in band, and, you know, keeping the music alive. Or at least trying to, let’s put it that way. Cleaning, repairing these horns is interesting work. There have been some strange ones. Sometimes, I can’t even figure out how they did what they did to their instrument. How am I gonna fix that? But it usually all works out.
“I’ve found a dead mouse once. This one had been in storage for a while. And then you just try not to think about all the… we’ll say, liquids that come out of the instrument. You just don’t want to think about what it is and where it came from. Needless to say, I wash my hands a lot.
“We’ve seen some pretty nasty horns, and not just from the kids. Gotta pick on some band directors, too. And with the saxophones, the pads are leather wrapped around felt, so if they get wet, they get moldy. I tell people that you can wipe it off, but I fear that the mold is growing on the felt underneath the leather, and so you really just need to replace everything.
“I don’t know if you can see this one here, where the light is coming through it; that shows where the key is leaking. We call it our ‘leak light,’ but it’s just a fluorescent bulb.
“It’s a great feeling knowing that my work is helping to keep kids excited about band.”